The Dark Matter of Mona Starr is not something you can really tell what it is about by the cover. I figured she might be into science or going to take a poetic journey. Instead, it is a book about one girl dealing with the Matters of her life: or the depression she is facing. Laura Lee Gulledge does not want to make it easy on you, she hits you right out of the gate, but it is not all “doom and gloom.” There are bright spots, even when Mona is in her darkest places, there is hope.
The use of yellow as the only real color is interesting and tells the story. However, I would have liked to see other colors off and on. The black and white images are descriptive, but color would really pop and show things against that stark background. Yet, this is how Gulledge wants to create their story. And because of it, the journey we the reader takes will be as unique as our own experiences going into the book.
We are both the reader of the journal Mona creates to help her sort out her feelings and an outside observer none are aware of. We watch as Mona goes from seeing only negative, what is wrong and focusing on the bad to her becoming aware of the positive, what is right and the good.
However, there could be a few trigger moments for those going through similar situations. When I “saw” myself the first time on the pages, I took a figurative step backwards. I was shocked; exposed. It was too personal at times. However, it is also a nice way to show you are not alone and that others are facing similar situations.
I only have one real issue with the book overall. For me, some areas were rushed, while other areas dragged. The flow was not always consistent. That makes it, as said a personal experience when reading. I would recommend strong ages 10 and up. Sometimes the book feels younger than what a 14 to adult might like, but I think it could be good for all ages, if you know your reader. It might be a good book for a therapist to have and/or a parent/guardian/adult who has a child going through similar issues.