The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First let me say, I LOVE LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON!!! This book stopped my heart many times- the title was so key to Hayley and her father and their memories. Hayley and her Dad, Andy, have decided to settle down in his grandmother's house and try for a more normal life. Before this time, Hayley lived with her father's Post Traumatic Stress demons from many tours in Iraq. She has heard his screams in his dreams, listened to his horrible, horrible memories of Iraq and watched him over the years drink and drug himself, which has resulted in a dad she loves and hates. She is now almost eighteen, attending high school (for the first time) and she doesn't know any of the rules and social norms, since she has traveled in her father's truck and been homeschooled for much of her life. When she reacquaints herself with Gracie, her kindergarten classmate, she also becomes part of her group and with this association, comes Finn. Finn (according to Gracie is an awesome swimmer, hottie, and ubersmart) is a really nice guy who Hayley asks for a ride one day so she can rescue her father once again. As Finn and Hayley get to know one another, Hayley dares to hope that she can have a normal life that is not fraught with the agonizing drama that is her father. As Hayley is pulled once again into the horrors, she begins to remember and with these memories, she battles who she is (did she really want to through herself off the quarry ledge?)and asks herself, who does she really want to be and want for her future? A compelling story, I couldn't put it down, I loved Hayley and Finn and so will teens. This book will be enjoyed by boys and girls, librarians and teachers will be recommending this thrilling, hopeful read.
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