We continue our blogging anniversary week with a review from one of our contributors, Sabre Spano. Sandie has known Sabre for years, so when she discovered they shared a love of YA, she invited Sabre to be part of the TLR team. There is no doubt that one of the best things about being a part of Teen Lit Rocks has been involving our teen and adult contributors. We’ve enjoyed reading dozens of book club selections together and sharing our thoughts about those books. Today, Sabre is sharing her review of “The Impossible Knife of Memory” by award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson. Our giveaway, of course, is a copy of it OR any “older” book we’ve reviewed as a Book We Adore (like “Looking for Alaska,” “Rapture Practice,” “The Tyrant’s Daughter,” “The Knife of Never Letting Go,” etc.).
For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.
After spending five years on the road with her father, Hayley Kincain has returned to her father’s hometown. He tells her it’s so she can have a sense of normalcy for her senior year of high school but Hayley knows it’s because her father is losing his battle with PTSD.
Andy Kincain returned from Iraq with more than a leg injury. He can’t get the images of death and destruction from his head. They haunt him day and night. It has reached a point where he can barely function, he can no longer hold down a job and cannot face the day without help from his drug dealing friends.
Hayley uses sarcasm as a shield at school but it doesn’t keep Gracie and Finn from getting close. They have their own secrets, their own issues at home, despite that they are always there when Hayley needs them. Unfortunately, when Hayley needs them most, she tends to push them away.
Hayley sees that her father’s condition is deteriorating and she sacrifices everything – her school work, her friend, her boyfriend – in order to take care of him and to keep track of his every move.
The characters are all well developed and Laurie Halse Anderson did a wonderful job building tension with every turn of the page. While you do get a few breathers to enjoy the romance between Hayley and Finn, you will find that you are waiting for her father to do the unthinkable and there are several times you’re sure it’s about to happen. At the pinnacle, the tension was so heavy I had to actually stop reading and pace the room before I could go back to see what happened. I can’t tell you because I don’t want to spoil it for you. You have to experience this book for yourself.
“You’re the one who doesn’t understand, I’ve been standing on the edge with you for years.”
“Can’t escape pain, kiddo. Battle through it and you get stronger.”
“I kissed him until everything that hurt inside me melted into a pool of black water so deep I couldn’t touch the bottom. As long as I was touching him, I wouldn’t drown.”
To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment here, on Facebook, or on Twitter, telling us why you’d like to win a copy of “The Impossible Knife of Memory” or any of our featured Books We Adore titles. Must have a valid U.S. address to win. I will pick a random winner on Sept. 30th, and the winner must respond within 48 hours with their valid mailing address, so they can receive a copy of both books.