Tuesday, December 17, 2013

THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY by Laurie Halse Anderson: Early Review

Title: The Impossible Knife Of Memory
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publish Date: January, 7 2014

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Laurie Halse Anderson has the most amazing writing ability. I have enjoyed reading many of her books including SPEAK and WINTERGIRLS, and now I can happily add THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY to my favorites list. Anderson's writing has a very literary and almost lyrical feel to it, while always tackling intense and difficult subjects. I think controversial topics can, at times, have the most profound impact on the reader, and Anderson surely accomplishes this with her latest book.

THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY is quite frankly, remarkable. The topic, PTSD, is a very real and profoundly devastating disorder that is becoming more and more common due to the war. This disorder affects not only the bearer but those around them, and Anderson has done an impressive job of capturing these effects on a child. How do you help someone who can't help himself?

The emotion and devastation that Hayley experiences is so real the reader will be completely encompassed by her fear and the weight she bears. The tension in the book and among the characters is palpable. It will at times make your heart race, and at others bring tears to your eyes. The heavy responsibility that this 17 year-old-girl is given for most of her life is something that most people would be terrified of or collapse under. Her strength is admirable, yet the main message with the pages is that these types of issues will never resolve themselves.

THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY is a book that will remain with readers long after they close the cover. The message is one of hope and encouragement. Asking for help is not a weakness. While I am sure that this will once again be a controversial book that makes in on numerous "banned book" lists, it is also a book that can and will inspire. As always with Anderson's books, the heartache, pain, stress and fear will cut readers down to their deepest emotion, but ultimately those cuts will heal into a beautiful story to share and inspire others.

About the Author:

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Laurie was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by YALSA division of the American Library Association for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature…”.  Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter, twitter.com/halseanderson, and on her website, www.madwomanintheforest.com.

1 comment:

  1. Halse's writing is always nothing short of stunning. I can't wait to read this one.