Today's ITBA review comes from Mark M. Read on as he describes a powerful and captivating book:
Carey and Jenessa don’t live like normal girls. Their mother keeps them hidden; hidden so well that they live in an old camper deep in the Obed Wild and Scenic River National Park. Carey’s mother insists they escaped from an abusive father and if they are ever seen, he may come take them away. But Carey is also hiding something. She is hiding a secret so powerful that it has kept Jenessa from speaking to anyone but Carey---a doctor called it “selective mutism.” Carey, only fifteen, has spent most of her life caring for her younger sister because their mother is often absent due to struggles with mental disabilities and addiction. It is during one of their mother’s extended absences that life as they know it would change. Carey’s father shows up with a social worker to take the girls home to his family. We spend the rest of the story hearing Carey describe her struggle to fit into a new family, attempt to assimilate into public school, and learn the truth about her past.
I was captivated by the characters in this story. The things they had to do to survive are truly tragic and amazing. It is also quite interesting to see Carey experience modern teenage life for the first time. Her “back woods” way of viewing things and unique narration add humor to an often sad story. The author also does a great job of entwining themes of hope and love into the dark narrative. I highly recommend this coming of age story to readers that enjoy books about teens forced to overcome extraordinary life situations.
Name: Mark M.
Department: Info Services
Years at AHML: Almost 2 years
Favorite thing I do at work: Helping people! I love connecting people to the information they need. I learn something new every day!
Best place to read my book: On the patio with my iPod.
Why I like reading YA: The books are so unique. YA authors are not afraid to experiment and this makes it a very exciting genre.