John Larkin deserves to win awards and much applause for this young adult book that deals with the tough topic of suicide. It made me cry, but it also made me laugh and think . . . Recommended for older teenagers and their parents.
Rebecca Green, Herald Sun
John Larkin has written an important book for young adults: about choices; about love; about secrets; and about looking after yourself – telling someone when you are feeling bad, sad or alone. I really think this book could save a life, if put into the hands of someone who thinks they have no other options. It is a life-affirming story, dark and sorrowful, but full of hope and light too. For ages 13 and up – I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Sue Osborne, worthreadingworthsharing.wordpress.com
Dressed in a gripping story and an intriguing structure, this is above all a crucial message from someone who knows first hand what it is like to feel that death is the only answer to unbearable mental anguish – a heady celebration of life from one who knows how such feelings can be turned around with a little help.
Katharine England, Magpies
Between All the Bright Places, Thirteen Reasons Why and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, we’ve read some exceptional books dealing with teen suicide. John Larkin amazed us with this striking take on this painful topic. In The Pause, Sydney teen Declan O’Malley speaks directly to us in a tone that veers between sharply funny and heartbroken, explaining the events that have caused him to plan his own death. Larkin narrates two scenarios: 1. The aftermath of Declan’s suicide and 2. Declan’s future if he doesn’t go through with his plan. The result is a powerful, life-affirming story that’s sure to spark healthy conversation.
Editor's Note, iBooks
The first chapter got me in and introduced me to a book that I couldn't put down. This is a book about suicide, however, it is not a suicide book. It is marvellously written with an insight that can only be real . . . I highly recommend this to all students over 15. It is sure to become highly awarded and be classroom group reading for many years.
The Pause is so full of hope that when I turned the last page my first impulse was to run through the streets hugging strangers, shouting for joy and celebrating the miracle of being alive. I picked up this book expecting an emo tear-jerker and instead discovered one of the most inspirational and uplifting books I have read in a very long time. The Pause is the kind of book that could easily change lives and possibly even save them. A must read for everyone, but especially for young people whose lives have been touched by depression.
Sarah McDuling, booktopia.com.au
In the tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, or more recently Sliding Doors, The Pause merely asks you to do just that, stop and consider this world without you . . . Through the humour and warmth developed for the characters over the story’s 20 year span, Larkin makes this otherwise difficult topic consumable for the YA reader and with the added reading group questions at the back of the book, promotes a well overdue dialogue that will hopefully be explored in schools.
Jacquelyn Muller, buzzwordsmagazine.com
This book gripped me from the very beginning . . . Regardless of whether or not you've had experience with mental illness, I highly recommend this book. The Pause is a heart wrenching novel which will make you cry, but also heartwarming enough to make you laugh in all the right moments.
Through Declan’s, at times, very real and heartbreaking story we meet his family, his loving girlfriend and ‘interesting’ friends. All of this mixed together gives us the perfect trail mix of love, reality, excitement and adventure without letting one overpower the other three. If the first few pages dishearten you, stick around because with the lows come the highs with this story and the ending is one that’s definitely worth the journey.
Jemma Sbeghen, readings.com.au