The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Buy The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: This was a glorious read that I can't recommend highly enough. Well formed characters, sensitive and believable portrayal of PTSD and a compelling story. You won't want to put it down.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: September 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781407147666

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Hayley is back in her childhood home after years on the road with her father, trying to outrun the past. She doesn't really remember living here, nor does she really want to. Not when her father can't drive under bridges for fear of snipers. Not when he's self medicating with alcohol and drugs. Not when he refuses help from the VA.

No, Hayley has enough to contend with, without digging up her own painful memories from the past. If she can just get her father to work, if she can just pass her classes at school, if she can just not fall in love with Finn... maybe everything will be okay.

Impossible Knife was one of those books I couldn't put down. As in: reading in the car, even though it makes me feel sick; reading at the dinner table, even though I know it's rude; reading in the half light, despite my aching eyes, couldn't put it down.

Trying to put into words what made it so compelling is difficult. I think it's mostly the deep connection with the characters that forms because they are so recognisable. Even though a lot of readers won't have suffered, or known someone to suffer PTSD, there are plenty of behaviours and feelings that Hayley shows that people will empathise with and understand. The characters are so real and well formed, they become like people you know.

The story could easily have been miserable, but though Anderson doesn't shy away from the very darkest side of PTSD, she provides enough hope for the overall result to be uplifting - if a little emotionally draining. This was a glorious read that I can't recommend highly enough.

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.

If you enjoy this, definitely check out Wintergirls where Anderson applies her incredible insight to the mind of a teenage girl with anorexia.

Buy The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson at Amazon.com.

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