My latest read and it’s my first book on the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge for the year, it also fits one of my own challenges of reading books that deal with mental health.
The Science of Breakable Things
Eggs are breakable. Hope is not.
Natalie’s mother is suffering from depression, and Natalie is suffering too because she doesn’t know how to fix her mom. She has ideas as to why all of this has happened. Her mom is (was) a botanist and got fired, sending her into her depressive state.
Natalie is angry at her dad for trying to pretend everything is okay, and even though she doesn’t want to admit it, she’s angry at her mom, because she feels like she wasn’t good enough, and that if her mom loved her she wouldn’t be depressed.
All this is set against the backdrop of Natalie’s seventh-grade science class. Natalie’s science teacher wants them to find a research question. When Natalie struggles he suggests that she enter an egg drop competition. Natalie is reluctant at first but realizes there is prize money attached and that this might be the solution to fix her mom.
Her mom’s botany work focused on miraculous Cobalt Blue Orchids–flowers that survive against impossible odds. The one they had at their house has died and Natalie is sure seeing the flowers will inspire her mom to want to be an active part of life again.
Natalie’s friend Twig is the first to sign onto the team, soon called Operation Egg, along with a new boy from India named Dari. With their help Natalie might just have a chance of winning the contest and helping her mom, but what happens when things fall apart like broken eggs?
Having friends around to pick up the piece help Natalie learns that talking about things can start her on a journey of healing and that with help. Her family might never put the pieces back the same way, but that they might slowly but surely begin to heal with or without the Cobalt Blue Orchid.
I loved the view of mental health from another perspective. I also loved how they brought in how Natalie feels about her being Korean and her dad’s disinterest/discomfort with his Korean identity. There wasn’t as much focus on it since depression was the main plot but I still liked the fact that it was mentioned.
Five Favorite Things
- Natalie’s Two Best Friends
- Natalie’s Grandma
- Natalie’s response to her mom’s depression
- Natalie making Korean food
- Natalie and her Mom interacting at the end of the book.
Overall this was a good five stars, very sweet, and portrayed mental health very well.