The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Odd for a Laurie Halse Anderson book to have a multi-word title, isn't it? That's not a comment on the contents, just an observation - and not one made by me but by a student who saw the ARC I got.
So, what about those contents? As always, the author has thoughtfully taken a problem faced by some teens and written a book that not only illuminates it but also somehow uplifts the reader. I feel odd writing that, because the ending isn't uplifting in the sense that you walk away smelling the roses, but it is in the sense that you feel that for Hayley, at least, things are going to be better.
Without spoiling this, let's just say that what Hayley went through emotionally felt very real to me. Her emotions and the language she used were, most of the time, very much what teens sound like (and, from what I hear, feel like). The problem I had was with her comments about the school (would a student notice or care about budget cuts? that felt a little like an Author Issue shoehorned into the book) and her trucking days with her father (surely someone would have noticed?). Beyond that, this was a great read and teens won't notice my quibbles.
ARC provided by publisher.