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Review: Black Box by Cassia Leo

Black Box - Cassia Leo

I bought Black Box on a whim. I saw a Facebook post that was raving about the emotional intensity of this book, and I just used my handy-dandy "One-Click" buy button via Amazon, and it was in my virtual library. Helps that it was only $0.99...

I really had no idea what Black Box was about. I was going for spontaneity by just diving into a book without any expectations... But I really didn't know what I was in for with this one...

I'll start with what I liked. The writing style. The author can write - you can hear the voices she portrays and it flows... It's just.... everything else I had a problem with.

Mikki goes through a horrific experience. I just... can't... It's awful, and I can empathize with the pain she feels. But she was suicidal way before this tragedy. She's bipolar, which is a major contributing factor to her desire to end her life, but there's one problem. I didn't sense any bipolar-ish qualities in her personality. She was depressed, definitely - but she had zero highs or lows that I could tell. This claim of being mentally ill was not reflected anywhere in her character development. It was just that: a claim. 

We get a glimpse of her first suicide note, before she was brutalized, and I really couldn't understand her reasoning. She wanted to kill herself because she didn't like Kim Kardashian or makeup? (I'm sorry, but who really likes Kim Kardashian?) Or because some immature highschoolers made up a rumor about her? It just didn't add up to me... Maybe I'm insensitive, but it just felt whiny and weak.. Honey, not everyone is interested in the same things, and bad shit happens to people, even when they don't deserve it. It's a part of life. Maybe if I was made to believe she really was bipolar, then I could empathize... Otherwise, it just sounded like a couple of really shallow reasons toend your life and leave your family. 

Other things that bother me about Mikki: 

1.) She keeps saying she wants to die (over and over and over), but she's worried about her sensitive skin.

2.) She still wants to die, but she's smiling and excited about a guy and what he's beginning to mean to her.

3.) She insists on watching Pretty in Pink, but still... you guessed it. She wants to die.

4.) She asks Crush to brush the tangles out of her hair because she can't get to them, but she doesn't care about her life.

The way I see it, if you don't care about your life, why would you care about your hair, sensitive skin, or watching any movie with Molly Ringwald?

This book is basically about suicide, through and through. Just about every single character has this overwhelming desire to end their own life. Far fetched? You betcha. 

I wouldn't joke about suicide - it's on the list as one of the most serious subject matters an author could write about. But giving every one of your characters suicidal tendencies? It just isn't believable. And, in all honesty, it makes it seem like suicide is a normal thought for people. Like it happens all the time to almost everyone, that it's easy to feel this way, and that takes away the weight it carries.

The one thing that saves Mikki is love. And just like everything else in this book, it's not believable. Enter the dreaded insta-love. Crush (wtf kind of name is that?) loves Mikki. He saves her, which saves him, and now he's head over heels in love with her. After twenty minutes. With zero conversation. I get being grateful, but love? Annnd the author takes away the importance of that emotion as well.... by making it seem easy. 

I did like Crush though, despite my inability to believe how he felt about Mikki. He was sensitive, patient, and had a good sense of humor. He doesn't push Mikki in any way, even when it comes to talking her off the ledge. 

But what is the point? Really? Because I don't get it. When I finished the last sentence, I couldn't believe that was it

I guess it's supposed to be about two people saving each other? But even in the end, Mikki doesn't believe they will grow old together. She still believes they will die young. WTF? - an expression which basically sums up the entirety of my feelings about this book....

I don't even know....