The Memory of Light



About the Book:


Author: Francisco X. Stork

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Pages: 336

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: She can’t even commit suicide right. But for once, a mistake works out well for her, as she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she’s never had.

But Vicky’s newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending her back to the life that drove her to suicide, Vicky must try to find the strength to carry on. She may not have it. She doesn’t know.

Inspired in part by the author’s own experience with depression, The Memory of Light is the rare young adult novel that focuses not on the events leading up to a suicide attempt, but the recovery from one — about living when life doesn’t seem worth it, and how we go on anyway.

“The Memory of Light is filled with hard truths and beautiful revelations. It’s a beacon of hope for those in the dark of depression. This book just might save your life.” -Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Isla and the Happily Ever After.


“The Memory of Light takes you to that cold strange place that is depression. Vicky’s journey back from darkness doesn’t simplify or sentimentalize the effects of mental illness. Francisco Stork shows us the universe of the human mind, how it can be terrifyingly dark – and how in the company of the right kind heart – infinitely dazzling.” –Martha Brockenborough, author of the Game of Love and Death


“Stork further marks himself as a major voice in teen literature by delivering one of his richest and most emotionally charged novels yet.”

— Kirkus, starred review –


“Various studies have estimated that perhaps as many as one in five teens has a diagnosable mental health problem; it’s a subject that needs the discussion Stork’s potent novel can readily provide.”

— Publishers Weekly, starred review –


“Vicky’s story has undeniable emotional strength and an encouraging, compassionate message. Stork writes his characters with authenticity and respect… informative and highly rewarding.”

— Booklist, starred review


  1. Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Contemporary, Realistic. The story of Vicky Cruz’ journey from suicide attempt and depression toward light and life.

  1. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

It’s for anyone who likes books with interesting characters and suspenseful, realistic stories but I’m particularly hopeful that it will find its ways into the hands of young people who are struggling with depression or who know someone who is. My wish is that the book will provide understanding and hope to those who need it.

  1. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

Vicky, the main character in the book, likes to write poetry and the title comes from a line in one of her poems. One of the lines goes: “When all is dark around you, I’m the memory of light.”

  1. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

The cover was designed by Ken Choi who works for Scholastic, my publisher. He read the book and the cover reflects his vision. I think it’s beautiful and perfect. It’s wonderful to see an artist’s vision of the book.

  1. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Vicky is the character that is closest to me because there is so much of me in her. What I like the most about her is an inner strength that she doesn’t know she has but which she slowly discovers and also the poetic way that she has of describing things and feelings that are hard to describe. She also has a beautiful sense of humor.

  1. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

Vicky’s father is a successful businessman who is very driven and goal oriented. Like a lot of people who are used to fulfilling their life’s ambitions through hard work and never giving up, he has a hard time understanding how depression affects his daughter. He means well and he loves Vicky, but he is also a bit of a jerk.

  1. Whats the next project for you?

I’m working on a novel about a brother and sister who cross into the United States from Mexico when their life there becomes impossible. It’s a new kind of novel for me with lots of action and very fun to write.

8.What are you reading right now?

I’m reading books about the desert for my next book. I need to immerse myself in the vocabulary of the terrain so that it becomes natural to me as I write.

  1. Any advice for up coming authors?

The three things you need to work on diligently to become a good author are: write, read and observe. Write everyday even if it’s just a few lines in your journal. Write for the practice of it, like a pianist that plays the scales over and over. Read all kinds of books, especially those that are very different than the kind you would like to write—otherwise you will sound just like everyone else. But mostly observe, observe, observe. Observe the gestures and words of other people. Observe rooms and gardens and jungles and streets. Above all, observe the feelings and thoughts inside of you because these are the seeds to your characters.

About Francisco:

Francisco X. Stork is the author of the acclaimed Marcelo in the Real World which received five starred reviews and won the Schneider Family Book Award for Teens; The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, named a New York TimesEditors’ Choice selection; and Irises. He was born in Monterrey, Mexico, spent his teenage years in El Paso, Texas, and now lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, with his family. Visit him online at

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


5 winners will receive a finished copy of THE MEMORY OF LIGHT, US Only.



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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/18/2016- Bookish Lifestyle- Interview

1/19/2016- Here’s to Happy Endings- Review

1/20/2016- Storybook Slayers– Guest Post

1/21/2016- Such a Novel Idea- Review

1/22/2016- Literary Meanderings- Interview

Week Two:

1/25/2016- Worth Reading It?- Review

1/26/2016- The Bibliophile Chronicles- Guest Post

1/27/2016- Reading List- Review

1/28/2016- Paranormal Book Club- Interview