review by Jacob Chon, age 15

Madness by Zac Brewer

    What is madness if it is not doing something many times, each time expecting a different result? And who is Brooke, if she is not a girl who goes to therapy many times, each time expecting a different result? As a young woman in the middle of nowhere, America, she is sick of living. Her attempted suicide may have left her scared and distanced, but her failure has only made her resolve stronger. She lies to others about her feelings and her mental state, as well as to herself about all of these things. Her family life a faux, she finds solace in talking to Ronald “Duckie,” her best friend since elementary school. But even though support surrounds her, she still feels the depression, the anger, and most of all the shame. Madness by Zac Brewer is a story about all of us who have experienced depression.  
    This book was an interesting story to read. While it was not overly complicated or simple, sometimes Brooke’s emotions feel too forced, and it was a bit drawn out, much to the annoyance of readers. Despite these issues, Brooke’s struggle felt real and personal, and her family dynamics were nuanced and well thought out from the start.  Regardless of how one feels about suicide, Zac Brewer is very deliberate about how he injects his ideas into the book, and the way he does this is very skillful. Overall, the book was a decent read. 3.5/5 stars.

Find this book in our catalog: Madness

Catalog Number: On Call

289 pages

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