Please Note: I received an ARC copy of this book as part of Nori's Sunday Street Team blog tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence the opinions in my review in any way.
Synopsis (From GoodReads):
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
Wow, this was a brilliant book! One of the reasons I read is to catch a glimpse of lives and situations that I don't know much about. I can't know what it's like to be homeless and desperate, to be in so much pain that it can't be expressed by simply screaming and throwing things. This book shows one girl's struggle with self-harm and her long road to a healthier life. The characters are memorable, the situations, terrifying. But there is a great sense of self determination that kept me enthralled.
What I Liked:
Charlie is just so messed up. After her father dies, her home life becomes unbearable. She becomes homeless after a fight with her mom and things go from bad to worse. It is heartbreaking. In a smart move by Kathleen Glasgow, Charlie's backstory is presented in bits and pieces. As the story progresses, we see how she got tangled in this predicament.
Damaged people tend to find each other, and it seems inevitable that Charlie gravitates to other people with issues. Is it that she feels less judged? I don't know, but you can see that there will be a rocky road ahead if she hangs with these people.
Portrayal of Self-harm:
This book bluntly shows how and why people hurt themselves in ways such as cutting and drug/alcohol abuse. It does not glamorize or sugar-coat anything. Due to this, it can be very hard to read at times. If you know anyone with these problems, it could be very upsetting (I cried several times). But I think this book gave me a much deeper understanding of this problem, and for that, I am grateful.
What I was mixed about:
This really is a quibble, but why is every coffee shop a haven of quirky characters? This is the second book I have read lately where a person is new to town and finds refuge in a funky coffeehouse. And (of course) Charlie finds a job there almost instantly. I had no idea that it was so easy to get a job these days!
I do get that the coffee shop is an important aspect of the story. But couldn't it be something else, like a bookstore, or a Goodwill?
Overall, this is a very special book. It is a story of overcoming adversity and finding your self-worth. I highly recommend this.
If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help, please consider contacting:
Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
To Write Love on Her Arms: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/National Runaway Hotline: 1-800-621-4000
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Source: Sunday Street Team Blog Tour
Recommendation: A very powerful book. For older teens and adults due to blunt scenes of substance abuse and self-harm.
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