Mar 29, 2014

Review: Black Box by Cassia Leo

From New York Times best selling author Cassia Leo, comes an epic love story about rewriting destiny.

Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush cross paths on three separate occasions. Their first encounter changes Mikki's life forever, but their second meeting leaves them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.

Now nineteen years old, Mikki Gladstone has decided she's tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.

Twenty-one-year-old Crush has always channeled his blackest thoughts into his music, but he's never had great aspirations. He decides to fly to Los Angeles to record a demo of the only song he's never performed in public; a song he wrote for a girl he doesn't even know: Black Box. He has no expectations of fame and he's never felt like his life had any purpose... until he meets Mikki in Terminal B.

When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize that fate has more in store for them than just another love story.

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 to end 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....




  1. I'm sorry it wasn't a good book. I understand why you didn't enjoy it, just saying a character is bipolar doesn't make it beliavable you have to create a complete and real character.
    Great review


  2. Well, this is depressing
    You cannot take the subject matter of suicide so lightly
    It is indeed one of the toughest subjects for an author to write about
    GREAT review though
    Your reader


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