Monday, September 15, 2014

A Touching, Realistic, and Perilous Portrait

Source: Author Website
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, 2014, 400pp.)

After years spent on the road outrunning bad memories, blue-haired teen Hayley Kincaid and her troubled, army veteran father return to their hometown in New York. Having been home-schooled for the last five years, Hayley cautiously re-enters the world of traditional learning, a repulsive realm populated by high school “zombies” (the in-crowd) and a few rebellious “freaks” like herself. Although she impresses few at first with her snarky attitude, she slowly becomes accustomed to her new life, and even gathers a handful of friends (other freaks like herself). In the back of her mind, though, is a fear that no teen should have to worry about: the constant, sickening fear for her father's declining mental health. While the prose lacks the
gritty, lyrical beauty found in Anderson's previous novel, Wintergirls, this newest offering succeeds in painting a touching, realistic, and perilous portrait of a new era of social issues
. Recommended for Ages 15-Up.

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