Years ago I started a book by Laurie Halse Anderson, probably one of the most famous YA novels in history, Speak and I didn't end up finishing it. I can't remember the reason I quit reading it, but I haven't picked it up since so when I got an ARC of this book I wasn't crazy excited about it like some people might have been. Anderson is coming to my city for a signing so I decided I would read it before she came but seeing as I had never finished a book by her I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found, at least in this novel, was something that I can only describe as a contemporary version of Shatter Me in terms of style and voice. At first I wasn't really sure what I thought of it, there were a few times when I had to re-read a few passages so they got through to me, but in the end I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book has the potential to be one of those novels that's going to be talked about by everyone and criticized by parents because of the harsh language and subject matter it deals with. That said it's really beautiful and although I really don't have anything in common with the main character I found myself connecting with her on a mental level and understanding what she was going through in terms of basic feelings. Anderson did something pretty unheard of in the book as well, there were a few passages that were told from the adult's POV, which, in YA fiction, isn't really done. In the end this was a raw, gritty novel that managed to mix in beautiful writing and punch-to-the-gut feelings. Hopefully everyone will eventually read this novel, but fans of Ellen Hopkins will eat up this lyrical book chock-full of things to talk about that mean something. I hope that I will be able to read Anderson's famous novel, Speak, soon, but with all of the books I need to read and things I need to do I'm not going to hold my breath.
Out January 7, 2014
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Viking books for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.