I pay attention each year to teen books that have award “buzz”: books that others in the library and publishing world are talking about as exceptionally good and/or unique. This novel by the author of the teen classic Speak has been getting some very good reviews, so I gave it a listen.
Hayley and her decorated, war-hero, war-damaged father have spent the last five years driving a semi around the country, avoiding the memories and demons chasing them. Trying to find a “normal” life, they settle into Andy’s childhood home and Hayley enrolls in high school. But the demons follow close on their heels: memories, delusions and alcohol-induced rages that threaten to destroy not only their normalcy, but their lives.
Readers, Julia Whelan and Luke Daniels, make Hayley’s world come alive and Whelan, particularly, gives Hayley an air of authenticity. You can listen to a brief audio preview here: https://www.brillianceaudio.com/product?i=10026
My Favorite Character
I really enjoyed Hayley’s love interest Finn, who is fascinated by her, but struggling with his own family issues.
Words to Live By
People who have to announce that they are trustworthy deserve to be lied to.
Adults and teens who like real-life fiction and character-driven tales of family conflict, struggle and perseverance.
This book is a great choice for readers who are looking to delve into the dark reality of PTSD and its effects on children and relationships will find a moving, sometimes harrowing, occasionally wryly funny story of trying to keep a life fractured by war from falling completely apart.
You can pick up The Impossible Knife of Memory at your local Bellingham Public Library location!