Wednesday, July 2, 2014

ARC Book Review: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

GoodReads Says: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault—was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide forever-and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.
Publish Date: 7/8/14. I received an ARC from publisher via NetGalley for review. 

I've always loved Chris Bohjalian's work. Midwives  is a favorite that I hope to re-read, soon. I recently read The Light in the Ruins and it wasn't my favorite, but I still enjoyed it. I have to be honest - I didn't even read the synopsis before requesting an ARC on NetGalley, and I'm glad I didn't, because I didn't have any expectations. 

This book sucked me in because of Emily's voice. She is a female teenager, and I'll never know how Chris was able to write so convincingly from her point of view. Some readers may have difficulty with the layout of the book. There are three main sections split into chapters. The chapters have "dividers," where Emily changes topics. She jumps out of sequential order many times. At first, it was confusing, but I quickly got the hang of it and ended up loving it - you're reading the book as Emily wrote it. It felt like how a teenager would intelligent, observant and witty teenager. 

Emily was the only character that I really "knew," which is to be expected - she's the narrator. I didn't identify with her  - she's so different from me. Even still, I was invested in her story. 

There wasn't a huge plot twist, like in some books, because this stories traumatic even happened prior to the start of the novel. It was more like Emily telling you a story, and there are little "aha" moments as you watch it unfold. 

I adored this book. It was compulsively readable and I was deeply invested in Emily. This is a book I'll be buying for The Shelves. I rate it 5/5. 

p.s. I think I need to work on how I write reviews- think of solidifying a rating system or something. Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - July 1

Topic: Top Ten Favorite Classic Books (however you define classic) or Top Ten Classics I Want To Read <or spin it some other way..."classics" in a specific genre?>

Top 10 Classics I Tried to Read but Couldn't Finish:

1. Lolita
2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
3. Anne of Green Gables
3. Wuthering Heights
4. Emma
5. Little Women

Sorry my list is so short and hap-hazard - I've been out of town for the past week! Watch out for my upcoming ARC review of Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands!!