The Place Between Breaths, by An Na
From master storyteller and Printz Award–winning author An Na comes a dark, intensely moving story of a girl desperately determined to find a cure for the illness that swept her mother away, and could possibly destroy her own life as well.
Sixteen-year-old Grace is in a race against time—and in a race for her life—even if she doesn’t realize it yet…
She is smart, responsible, and contending with more than what most teens ever should. Her mother struggled with schizophrenia for years until, one day, she simply disappeared—fleeing in fear that she was going to hurt those she cared about most. Ever since, Grace’s father has worked as a recruiter at one of the leading labs dedicated to studying the disease, trying to lure the world’s top scientists to the faculty to find a cure, hoping against hope it can happen in time to help his wife if she is ever found. But this makes him distant. Consumed.
Grace, in turn, does her part, interning at the lab in the gene sequencing department daring to believe that one day they might make a breakthrough…and one day they do. Grace stumbles upon a string of code that could be the key. But something inside of Grace has started to unravel. Could her discovery just be a cruel side effect of the disease that might be taking hold of her? And can she even tell the difference?
Unflinchingly brave, An Na has created a mesmerizing story with twists and turns that reveal jaw-dropping insights into the mind of someone struggling with schizophrenia.
Na (The Fold) creates a powerful impression of life with schizophrenia in this psychologically intense novel. Readers will feel Grace’s tension viscerally, as she weighs hope against despair. (Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW January 8, 2018)
Thoughtful readers who appreciate literary fiction will find much to savor in this lyrical novel suffused with beauty and terror. (Fiction. 12-adult) (Kirkus STARRED REVIEW 3/6/18)
A stark, raw, and minimalistic look at mental illness, Na’s slim but powerful novel offers emotionally drawn insights into the struggle with the disease. Told nonlinearly and via various points of view, the narrative includes stunning twists, turns, and revelations. Like the fog and confusion that accompany Grace’s episodes, nothing is cleanly delineated, and the reader is left wondering about Grace and seeking answers long after the story has ended. — Jeanne Fredriksen (Booklist *STARRED REVIEW* March 1, 2018)