Book Review: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future (ARC) by A.S. King

17453303This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Little Brown Books at the American Library Association Conference for free. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.


Young Adult, mind Contemporary Fiction



Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

October 14th, buy information pills 2014

You Can Find the Book At:



Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities—but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way…until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.

A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

My Review:

In true AS King fashion, I was absolutely blown away when I read this book. Literally and completely blown away. She is able to tell such a bizarre and unbelievable story in such a beautiful and relatable and addicting way. I can’t stop thinking about this book and I actually read this last month. There are so many parts to this book and that’s what makes it so good. It reminds me a bit of Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle but minus the horny, hungry grasshoppers taking over the world.

In the world of Glory O’Brien, she’s graduated from high school, with no set plans past that. She doesn’t know if she wants to go to college, what she wants to do with her life, anything. She struggles to figure out who she is while also being there for the people around her. She has an insufferable best friend, who drives her absolutely crazy but she also feels love and loyalty for. There’s her father, who has sort of fallen apart since her mother’s death years ago. Lastly there’s the actual death of her mother, which she’s never truly mourned the death. These are all such real problems, and they come off the page effortlessly.

AS King has a way of capturing humanity, their emotions, and problems and lives so well that it reads like this. Her line at ALA was easily one of the longest ones that I was in and there is a reason for that. She’s an incredible writer and she captures her characters so that they feel so real and genuine. Sometimes its less about the story and more about the internal story of the character and I think that AS King is just perfect at that.

But there’s also the secondary part of the story, the out of this world but so familiar story. Glory suddenly can see the future and what she sees is absolutely horrifying, not just to her but to me as well. The United States falls to pieces and is broken apart by civil war, and states seceding and the rights of women are stripped over and over and over again. What seems to be unbelievable, fantasy in this book is a glaring reality at what happens every day in our laws and in our world to women, not just in this country, but all over the world. AS King offers up a scary potential reality and its absolutely horrifying and frightening. She calls attention to the way things are now and what direction they could be heading in.

All in all, simply put, there are not enough words to describe what an incredible writer and storyteller that AS King is. She writes unbelievable deep, genuine characters and incredible stories, unique and memorable. Her books stand out every single time that you read them, and I definitely recommend putting in your pre-order for it, or reserving your copy at the library. Trust me, you will definitely not regret it!


5 out of 5 Stars

January Book Wrap-Up

Books Pledged to Read in 2014: 150 Books

Am I On Track: Nope. I’m 3 books behind. I’m in SUCH a slump this year, story so far.

Books Read So Far: 9

Total Books For January: 

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Review for this book will come on February 20th, buy more about when I am part of the blog tour!


Ask the Passengers by A.S. King


The Selection by Keira Cass


The Elite by Kiera Cass


These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Re-Read) 


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Re-Read)


Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer


Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy


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I super hope February is MUCH better than January. I was in a major book slump, and I hope that I’m now out of it.

How was your January? What did you like? What books didn’t you like? What are you planning to read for February? Share in the comments!

Ask the Passengers Book Review

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King    






You Can Find the Books At:



Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, approved but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, viagra order Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn’t know the passengers inside, but they’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can’t share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don’t even know she’s there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers’ lives–and her own–for the better.

In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society’s definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything–and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

My Review:

In 2013, at the recommendation of Andrew Smith, I read A.S. King’s new release, Reality Boy, and was absolutely blown away  by it. When I received a ton of Barnes and Noble gift cards for Christmas like I always do, I was wondering the book store and saw this book. I knew that this book was going to be a good one, based on the amazingness that was Reality Boy.

What I really loved the most about the story is that while it follows the typical path of a coming-of-age story, especially that of someone struggling with their sexual identity, its also unique too. Astrid is really confused, in that she doesn’t really know if she’s gay. She knows she likes girls, one in particular. In fact, she’s in love with that girl. But she doesn’t know if that defines her as gay. Her reluctance to label herself is fantastic. She doesn’t want to feel constricted by labels, or by the idea that she has to choose a gender. This felt so incredibly close to my heart. The idea is that she’s in love with a girl, she finds other girls attractive but she can’t rule out that she wouldn’t fall in love with a boy. I think that’s a beautiful thing. I’m madly in love with my boyfriend who is, obviously, a boy but I could never rule out a girl. Its not about gender, its about people. I think AS King really tackles that in this novel.

I also like the relationships between child and parent that she writes about in her novels. The one in Reality Boy made me feel sick to my stomach, and the relationship between America and her mother was so visceral and so real and so heartbreaking to me. It wasn’t abusive, like the relationship between Gerald and his mother in Reality Boy, but its neglecting and its hard for me to deal with. That’s how well that she writes these kind of relationships. They feel SO incredibly real. Everything she writes is written with such honesty and realism and its the kind of writing that makes the story stick with her.

The thing that really gets me about this story is that you could write it off as just another  “gay story”, or whatever, but its not like that. Its so very real, and I think a lot of kids and teenagers and hell, even some adults go through this kind of confusion. The fact that Astrid doesn’t feel the need to define herself, and that she’s going to love who she loves, labels or not, is beautiful and its a truly wonderful story. I think so many people could relate to Astrid, not just because of her struggle with her sexual identity but her struggle just to figure herself and feel important in her own home.

This story is addicting and compelling and deserving of every accolade bestowed upon it. A.S. King is two for two for me, and I am truly impressed with her novels. She is an incredible writer and a great storyteller. She really gets contemporary young adult literature, and I think even adults that are wary of YA would love her novels. She writes SO well. Ask the Passengers is on its way of being one of my favorites that I’ve read this year…and its only the fourth day of the year. Keep that in mind :)

Happy Reading.

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

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Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite New Releases of 2013!

 Well, stuff its the end of the year, more about and what an absolutely INCREDIBLE year it was for books. Honestly, view I am blown away from all the books that I managed to read this year. I dove even further into the world of book blogging and, by doing so, opened myself up to more and more book recommendations. Its not the end of the year yet, but I’m less than a handful of books away from reaching my 200 book goal. Of those 197 that I’ve read so far, 168 of them were brand new novels, either new releases or new books that were recommended to me.

I mean, I literally discovered SO many authors this year. I’m part of SO many new fandoms this year. 8 of the 10 books on this list are brand new authors to me for the year 2013.

But beyond just new books to me, there were so many brand new releases this year that blew my mind. This week’s Top Ten counts down the best new releases of the year. According to me. Which is basically known as expert and legit opinion that you have to trust. Seriously. I know you’ve seen a ton of other lists, from other book bloggers, and authors and such that count down the best books of 2013, but come on, are they really as awesome as me? I don’t think so ;)

 Anyway, here’s the list! Also, if you click on the title, you’ll get the full review! If there is a review. I didn’t review all of these.

10. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan


I have known who Sarah Rees Brennan is for a LONG time, because she’s a close friend of Cassandra Clare’s and we all know how I feel about Cassandra Clare. I just never sat down to read her books. I read The Demon’s Lexicon and liked it but just not enough to have me fall madly in love with her as an author. I asked her to do an interview for her new release, Untold, and figured, okay, I gotta be a good book blogger and actually read this series. I sped through Unspoken, the first novel, and loved the second novel, Untold as well. Untold picks up with two teenagers, obviously in love with each other, but full of so many struggles. They are wondering if their love is real or a result of the bond they had for their entire lives. But they are also struggling with their own families and to keep their town safe. What I love about Sarah’s series is that its good for a fan of YA paranormal romance, but its also so much more than that. Jared is a character to crush on, leaving you panting like mad, and Kami Glass is a seriously badass protagonist who always wants to save the day first before throwing herself into the arms of the one that she loves, and I think that’s incredibly awesome. Plus, that cliffhanger wasn’t even fair. I can’t WAIT until the third book comes out. I’m DYING for it to come out.

9. Here Without You by Tammara Webber


I absolutely adore, love, admire, love love love love Tammara Webber. I discovered her when I first bought my first Kindle a few years back, and was looking for something to read that was fairly cheap. I discovered Between the Lines, and ate up those books. I LOVE them. They are exactly the type of YA contemporary that I love to read. It has everything that you love about YA but it has that little extra spice, and I love that. Call it mature YA, YA or NA, whatever, its awesome. I also give her much props for being self-published and doing well with it, and getting noticed. Not many authors can do that, but she does and she deserves to be noticed for that. The Between the Lines series mostly follows Reid Alexander, who is a teen actor with a wild streak. You name it: the girls, the parties, the scandals. I thought the series was over with Good for You, when Reid finds the girl who can make him better and he falls in love. When I found out this was coming out, I squealed with SO much excitement. We get more of Reid in this book, of course, but we also get the POV of a character named Brooke, who has always been there, but we don’t know much about. The story of the two of them tackling a part of their past they’d like to forget was beautiful and I was constantly tearing up.

8. The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead 


Okay, this is a little bit of cheating because I literally just finished it a couple days ago but it counts because I busted through the entire Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series recently and I am so in love with both of them, and Richelle Mead and Dimitri Belikov and Adrian Ivashkov. I read the four books of the Bloodlines series in about a week, and I was blown away that Richelle Mead was able to take the world she built in six books in the Vampire Academy and continue it in ways that were new and exciting. I love Sydney Sage as a main character and, like I said, I’m madly in love with Adrian Ivashkov. I loved that this book delved into the dual points of view. I am actually getting really tired of that and kind of scoff when I see that now but I think she did it perfectly and it created the perfect amount of drama and action and mystery. Having both Adrian and Sydney’s reactions at the end of the book, leaving us hanging for the 5th book, was perfect. Everything from the previous books culminated into the end of this book and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. My impatient body can barely handle the wait until June (July?) when Silver Shadows comes out. I am so excited for it.

Also, I will review this :) I just haven’t had time yet for it!

7. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas


Another new discovery for the year of 2013, Sarah J Maas knows how to do fantasy. Seriously. There are very few authors nowadays in the YA genre who can do some legitimate beautiful fantasy and she is definitely one of them. The world that she creates is incredible, so incredible that I sometimes find it hard to keep up. I have to pause to remember the intricacies of the world that she has created. But I think the beauty of her novels is her main character, Celaena. Celaena is a trained assassin, overly capable of keeping herself safe, whip smart, and also super fun at the same time. She loves to read, and to eat, and wear pretty dresses. She is exactly what I wish I could be, you know, if I knew how to wield daggers, and kill people. Which I don’t. Just as a disclaimer. The first novel is about Celaena’s bid for freedom, but the sequel just creates a more twisting and secretive storyline, with more and more popping up. Celaena’s life is more complicated than she had expected it to be after winning the tournament in the first book, and its hard for her to keep up sometimes. Sarah takes an already beautifully built world and expands it even more. Its just absolutely amazing.

6. Reality Boy by A.S. King


I decided to check out this book after it was highly recommended by an author that I admire so much, Andrew Smith. More on Andrew later. But I trust his opinion thoroughly and decided to buy this book, especially since it was the Kindle deal of the day. Always gotta check those out because there can be some GREAT books for deals. This was another book that I whizzed through. King has this amazing story, a hugely addicting and compelling story, but she also addresses a question that we never really think about: what happens to children who are exploited on reality TV shows. It is also a story about serious emotional abuse and neglect. I’ve read so many books about actual physical abuse but emotional abuse and neglect can be just as damaging. Gerald has been traumatized by his stint on reality TV, where his problems as a child were exploited hugely and have followed him for the rest of his life. He also has a very abusive, psychotic sister, whose problems are excused by his very absent mother. Its a beautiful story, one in which Gerald learns to move past the image that he has of himself, built from that TV show, and finds love and strength outside of his home. This book blew me away and AS King is definitely going to be on my radar for now on!

5. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo


Talk about another author who blew my mind this year. I met Leigh at the Ontario Teen Book Fest, where her humor and her affinity for Tamora Pierce novels (agh, Tammy!) made me so happy that I just had to buy her book, Shadow and Bone. I finished it quickly and was so excited when I found out the sequel was to be released in a couple weeks. I went to her book release party (which was incredible!) and immediately went home to read the book. I didn’t believe it to be possible, but this one was even better than the first one. What I like a lot about this novel is that there’s a much bigger picture than just Alina but there is also so much more to Alina, as well. Alina is the protagonist, essentially the “good guy” of the novel, but she has her own struggles with her powers and how to use them. She can’t help but let them overtake her, and her confidence can get the best of her. She is young and impressionable and people are after her, so many people want to use her, and it goes to her head. Plus the world building…I can’t handle the amount of world building in these novels. Its absolutely incredible. Then when I learned that she used chemistry to build her magical system, I was just floored. Oh, and Sturmhond is introduced in this novel. You haven’t lived until you’ve fallen in love with Sturmhond.

4. Champion by Marie Lu


What an amazing finish to easily the best dystopian series for YA. Maybe, period. Let me put it to you this way: I LOVE The Hunger Games and Divergent. I wouldn’t camp out for days for Catching Fire red carpet premiere if I didn’t love The Hunger Games. But I say this with complete honesty that Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy blows them all out of the water. Prodigy ends in a serious cliffhanger, one that nearly had me throwing my Kindle across the room. I couldn’t believe that I had to wait a whole TEN months for the end ;) But I did it, and what happens in this book is beautiful, genuine and just the perfect ending. There were so many twists and turns and surprises. I loved that Marie opened up her world even more than it already was. She addresses nations outside of the US, which not a lot of dystopian novels do! I also think its the most beautiful, realistic, bittersweet endings ever, and it made me cry and I loved it. I hate happy endings, I’ve made that clear, but this one had so many good and bad things at the end, which felt so real. I am incredibly satisfied with the way this series ended. I can’t wait to read more from Marie Lu because this girl knows how to write a novel!

3. The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima


Speaking of amazing fantasy writers (especially ones that TOTALLY don’t get as much as they deserve), Cinda Williams Chima blew me out the freakin window, down the street and far far away with this installment of the Heir Chronicles. I love the Heir Chronicles but they didn’t become an obsession with me as much as her Seven Realms series did. Now that this fourth book has been released, I must say…they’re basically tied up. The Enchanter Heir was brilliant. It continues the story built in the first three books, but also stands alone. In fact, you can read this one without having ever read the other ones. Both characters in this novel are fantastic. Jonah is a badass fighter, with a scary power, and is incredible to watch, even in my own mind as I read. Emma is new to the magical Weir world but she is so strong and awesome, and she fumbles her way through with grace. Cinda takes an already amazing series and makes it so much better. I cannot even begin to say how much I loved it. She wraps up the third book of the series so well that you think, there’s no way it can continue but she does, she spins a whole new story and it works so well. Her world is that extensive and awesome. Seriously. God people read this book. Read all her books.

2. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare


I was so incredibly nervous when I first bought this novel. One, Cassandra Clare has a way of tearing my heart out and stomping all over it. She has a way of pulling at my emotions in a way that not many other authors have been able to. Two, there is a distinct love triangle in this series and I was hoping with all my heart that I would not be disappointed in the ending, because love triangles get on my nerves. What I got was a beautiful novel about love and friendship. She took what has become stereotype and, frankly, annoying and turned it into a lesson on love. Tessa loves Will…and Jem. She loves them both and is able to have time with them both. How often is it that you love one person in your entire life? I know I haven’t. And there’s such a fantastic story of friendship between the three of them. They all love each other so much, they’re so connected, that they’ll do anything for each other, and that includes basically saving the world. Will goes to save Tessa, the rest of the Institute goes to save them both and together, they save the world from Mortmain. This book had me sobbing my eyes out, in the saddest and also happiest epilogue in a book that I’ve ever. And it should be noted that I don’t like epilogues usually. I read this until 3 am. Worth every bit of sleepiness I had the next day. Beautiful beautiful conclusion to the trilogy.

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I cheated. I picked TWO books for number one. I honestly couldn’t pick between the two. There was just no way. They both completely blew my mind.

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


I have literally never had a book that literally jumped into my soul, my very being, and just KNEW me. Fangirl is a term that is applied a lot lately, everyone is a fangirl but I think there’s that select few of us that have been fangirls for ages, and know exactly what its like to be Cath. Cath is obsessed with a fantasy series called Simon Snow, which is a sort of fictional Harry Potter. She has posters, commemorative busts, fan art, and writes her own fan fiction, fan fiction that ships the two main male characters together. Not only does she write the fan fiction, but people LOVE her story and they eagerly await her next chapter. And she’s an introvert. She doesn’t always know how to operate in the outside world, because she’s so wrapped up in the fictional world of Simon Snow. She cares about the characters and those worlds so much, and people just don’t get it. If you don’t see this as me, you don’t know me. I literally felt like Cath was ME. I was laughing and crying the entire novel because there were so many times where I felt like screaming “Yes, yes, yes! Exactly! How did you know?” I can’t stop talking about this book because it just effected me so much. I know exactly what its like to be Cath and feel the way she does. I have been wanting to re-read this but I haven’t had the time. Its a goal of my 2014 reading challenge to re-read this book!

1. Winger by Andrew Smith


You guys are probably getting so tired of me pushing this book on you, but I kind of hope you are so then you’ll go out buy this book and read it just to shut me up already. And then you’ll realize how silly you’ve been for so long and you’ll love it. Just like my boyfriend. I know whats best, everyone. Just trust me on this. I’ve said it a hundred times, and I’ll say it again. Do you like John Green? Did you like Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, The Fault in Our Stars? Then you will love Winger. Winger is exactly that kind of novel, but so much better. Ryan Dean is hilarious and this book will make you laugh and cry and have an all around good time. It such a beautiful piece into being a teenager, and even more so, a teenage boy. It has sports and a love story. It has LGBT themes, and its ultimately a coming-of-age story. It has artwork in it (the comics are SO funny). It has everything that you need in a great book. I haven’t seen this book on not ONE top list of the year and it disappoints me to no end. This is easily the best book (besides Fangirl) of the year, and I can’t push it on you guys enough. Andrew Smith’s novel is the kind of novel that lasts. Its contemporary and recent but the story and the characters, the jokes, the love, the lessons, are all timeless. Andrew Smith became a favorite author of mine, easily, with one novel. Thats magic.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s Tuesday Top Ten! I hope that you loved these books as much as I did, and if you haven’t read them, I hope they make it on your “to-read” lists for 2014! They are all must-reads and I am going to push all of them on you until you just give in and read them.

What were some of your favorite 2013 books? Share in the comments! 

October Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2013: 200 Books

Read so Far: 173

On Track?: Yes! I’m actually 7 books ahead!

Total Books For October: 20

As always, more about if you click the title or cover, you’ll get the review!

The Extra by Kathryn Lasky


Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs


The House of Hades by Rick Riordan


Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson


Just One Year By Gayle Forman


Goddess by Josephine Angelini


City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Re-Read)


Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan


Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan


Panic by Lauren Oliver (Review Will Come Closer to Book Release in March)


Teardrop by Lauren Kate


Allegiant by Veronica Roth


Reality Boy by A.S. King


Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes (Review Next Week!)


Legend by Marie Lu (Re-Read)


Crewel by Gennifer Albin


The Fall of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson


52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody


Prodigy by Marie Lu (Re-Read)


Ten by Gretchen McNeil


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What were some of your favorite books that you read in the month of November? Share them in the comments!


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Reality Boy Book Review

Reality Boy by A.S. King



This review is based on an advanced reader’s e-copy, physician acquired through NetGalley. This in no way, doctor shape or form had any effect on my honest review. Thank you Little, Brown for granting me access to this novel. 

You Can Find the Book At:



Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

My Review:

This book was brought to my attention by Andrew Smith, the author of Winger. He kept talking about A.S. King, who I admit I had not heard of before this, and her brand new book, Reality Boy, which was just released yesterday. As soon as I saw it on NetGalley, I immediately bid for it and was excited when I got it. I already read Lauren Kate’s new book, Teardrop, and I went tearing through Allegiant yesterday. After taking some time to recover from Allegiant (which I still haven’t QUITE recovered yet), I was bored and needed to keep moving through my ever-growing list of book. I remembered that this released yesterday, and I sped through this book yesterday too. I was on a ROLL.

I had read the synopsis for this book but I don’t think I was quite prepared for the sort of story that King was going to tell. I was still reeling from Allegiant and my emotions were still going haywire and I went face first into this book, unaware of how this book was going to effect me.

This book was such an eye opener in two different ways. One, it really makes you think about the effect a camera can have on a child, whether its reality TV or just as a child actor. For Gerald, its reality TV, and it scars him big time. Every single thing he did as a child, all that bad, has been broadcast all over TV, and then with the spread of the internet, all over YouTube and all that. That is scarring, and its incredibly thought provoking to think of the effect of having a child’s life broadcast on television before they can even understand what is going on, before they even get to school. Can you imagine going into school and kids already know who you are, and have seen all your bad and embarrassing moments? They can judge you before you’ve even met them, and that’s exactly what happens with Gerald and its absolutely horrifying to watch.

But for me, its even more horrifying because of the way Gerald is treated by his mother and his sister. At first you think, its just a normal teenager, who has anger issues and has a passive mother and a cruel sister, but the story goes so much farther than that. As the story goes on, you learn of the mental, physical and emotional abuse that Gerald goes through at the hands of his seriously crazy and incredibly cruel sister, and the ways in which his mother ignores it. It sickens me. Every single time that something happens (or doesn’t happen) with Tasha or his mother, I just feel so sick to my stomach, and you keep turning the pages, hoping so badly that it gets better for Gerald, that someone does something, that people stop being so incredibly passive.

And I think when Heather, the girl who works with him, comes into his life, with her own set of familial problems, she is able to make him feel worthwhile and full of love, and she makes him feel happy, when he hardly ever feels happy. I think they both kind of embrace that idea that we can’t always excuse the things our families do to us simply because they are family. The whole idea of blood is thicker than water is not always true. I love that it shows we can’t always just deal with what our family dishes out because they are our blood and we are stuck with them for life, and they are the only family you have. Sometimes you have to speak up against the harm being done, and sometimes you have to fight that. I like that the two of them come together, and go on an adventure of friendship and love and self-discovery and escape and freedom.

This book is beautiful and I was so happy to be able to experience and I really have to give thanks to Andrew Smith for that, for promoting this book and this author so much. Its a heartbreaking but eye opening story of the effects that a camera and a neglecting family can have on a child, especially as that child grows up. Its a story of self-discovery and a story of escape from the childhood traumas that can hold us back. Watching Gerald, both as a child and as a burgeoning adult, grow into himself and gain some confidence, set goals and become determined for his freedom and his escape. Such a beautiful novel, and I definitely recommend it. Its a fairly quick read, I read it in about a couple of hours, and I was so glad that I did.


5 out of 5 stars