Friday, July 18, 2014

Review Me Twice: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

I like Laurie Halse Anderson. I liked Speak. I liked Fever 1793. I haven't read Wintergirls yet, but I bet I would like it. I also liked The Impossible Knife of Memory. I wrote all those redundant sentences for a reason: to emphasize the word "like." I don't love any of it, but I like it.

I was excited about this one... It's dark and scary in the "this happens to real people all the time" kind of way like Speak is. It calls attention to something I think is important and under-discussed (PTSD in veterans and how it affects them and their families).

I was totally with you, Laurie. I was. We were going great... and then the romantic plot (I can't decide if it's a "subplot" or not because it sort of takes over the whole book) started to feel way more girly than your protagonist has acted. Which I was cool with, in the sense that people change, especially when they're caught up in their first romantic relationship. And then... happy ending? What was that? I expected heart-wrenching and devastating. But maybe I just miss Game of Thrones. Still... what a weirdly misplaced-feeling happy ending.

Laurie Halse Anderson is an incredible writer.  Speak probably makes the top 10 of my favorite books because it was so well done (though, I admit, does hit you over the head a little with the tree symbolysm.)  Wintergirls was also incredibly well done.

And while I did LIKE The Impossible Knife of Memory, it just wasn't up to parr with her other works.  The characters were interesting, and I like that she isn't afraid to take PTSD on (because, let me tell you, I don't think we do NEARLY enough for our Vets and PTSD frequently isn't taken seriously and said Vets are referred to as sissies, or less tough because they're traumatized by their experiences.  Which is DUMB.)

I agree with Alex about the miss-placed ending and the romance though.  It kind of throws the book on a weird track and I'm not really sure if that's where I wanted to go.  There were some great moments with Hayley and her father, though.  Both scary and heart-stopping, and some incredibly wonderful.

Over all, I enjoyed it, because Anderson is just plain a good writer, but it certainly wasn't my favorite book by her.

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