By Martyn Bedford
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Source: PublisherWhen a family holiday ends in tragedy, the grieving parents’ marriage is left in ruins and, Shiv, their 15-year-old daughter, is tormented by what happened … and her part in it. Off the rails and unable to live with her guilt, Shiv is sent away to an exclusive clinic that claims to “cure” people like her.
But this is no ordinary psychiatric institution and Shiv discovers that her release – from her demons, and from the clinic itself – will come, if it comes at all, at a bizarre and terrible price.
Review: Wow, I have been reading some pretty heavy books lately. After just finishing one about a girl dealing with the death of her younger sister, it only seemed fitting to read one about a girl who has to face the death of her younger brother…
Shiv doesn't know how to live anymore. After losing her brother on their family holiday, Shiv has been tormented by guilt. In order to help her get over her grief, Shiv's parents send her to a unique institution with a handful of other traumatized teens to receive the clinic's revolutionary psychiatric treatment. While she's there, Shiv has to face her brother's death and endure the pain she's been trying to move on from all over again.
Like I said, this was a pretty serious book. Shiv's brother is dead and she's having a really hard time coping with it. In the beginning, all we know is that Shiv was super closer to her brother and that he's not there anymore. The chapters alternate between Shiv in the present and Shiv on the family vacation she loses her brother on. We don't get the full story of his death, though, until pretty much the very end as Shiv is forced to relive the trauma at the institution she was sent to.
Unlike normal institutions, Korsakoff Clinic has a very unconventional way of healing their patients. Shiv finds herself among people just as damaged, and even more damaged, than she is from losing a loved one. Shiv learns more about herself through the other patients, and has to face her trauma as she's pushed further and further into the past. I really liked the other characters and how they were damaged in their own ways, especially Mikey. He was such a complex character and Shiv is really affected by him, both positively and negatively.
Overall, this was a very emotional that deals with death and grief head on. We really get into Shiv's head and experience her pain and loss right alongside her. The alternating chapters keep the story engaging and mysterious, and you really start to love Shiv's brother as much as she does, which makes it even harder to watch her lose him all over again. If you're looking for a book that explores loss and the power of grief, then you should definitely check out Never Ending.