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The Impossible Knife of Memory

Anderson, Laurie Halse (Book - 2014 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Impossible Knife of Memory


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For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Authors: Anderson, Laurie Halse
Title: The impossible knife of memory
Publisher: New York, New York :, Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA),, [2014]
Characteristics: 391 pages ;,22 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Audience: 12+.
ISBN: 0670012092
9780670012091
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Report This Mar 05, 2014
  • AliReads rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Unbelievably excellent.

Report This Feb 14, 2014
  • BlueMoonGirl rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

What a wonderfully sad, but descriptive novel of a "family" coming to grips with PTSD. Story feels real.

"Hayley's high school is filled with freaks and zombies -- or at least that how it seems to her. For years, she's lived on the road with her father, a trucker and a military veteran, but now his increasingly severe PTSD has forced them to settle down. Between taking care of her unpredictable dad and struggling with memories of her messed-up childhood, Hayley feels unable connect with anyone at school…until she meets Finn, a guy with issues of his own. If you like realistic, heartbreaking stories with unforgettable characters, don't miss this "exploration of the lingering scars of war" (Kirkus Reviews) from the award-winning author of Speak." Teen Scene February 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/8a08e81d-ac97-440e-96bf-f540fa04887e?postId=e2010111-5bc0-46cc-8cac-949874a1f8c0

Fans of John Green and Sarah Dessen will enjoy the romance between Haley and Finn. Fans of Anderson will not be disappointed by the deep issues so delicately brought to light (as is her trademark). A powerful and quick read, this book will leave a mark on you.

I'm having like serious technical difficulties getting ahold of this book.

This book is based in part on Laurie Halse Anderson's own father and her experience with another relative returning from combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Her father was a mechanic in the US Army during WW2 & helped to liberate Dachau, memories of which haunted him, as he had PTSD. It drove him to drinking, and as a result he lost his job as a Chaplin at a college. Unemployed, rudderless, he then became a shell of himself, and was no longer the loving, caring father that she had known during her childhood. She was angry and embittered as she did not understand what was happening. Her father is still alive, and suffering from dementia. I have not read the book but do plan to, as it is surely written from the heart.

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When Haley calls home and no one answers the phone by the 2nd ring, she is figures her dad is sleeping. When no one picks up by the 10th ring, she hopes he is mowing the lawn. When no one picks up by the 20th, she knows something is wrong. Something is horribly wrong. She begs a ride from Finn, the editor of the school newspaper who has been nagging her to write for him. But the car is too small, Finn drives to slow, and something is wrong at home. Haley can't breathe, she can't think, she needs out! When a police car pulls up beside them at a stop-light, Haley is down to her last thread of sanity. She jumps out of the car, to Finn's surprise and runs home. There is her dad, drunk, lying on the floor, but breathing...for now. Andy, her father, an Iraq war veteran, came home from the war, but his head is still full of sand and blood and bombs. Unable to escape the PTSD that haunts him, Andy self medicates with drugs, alcohol and violence. Haley tries to take care of both of them while her best friend's family splits apart, her alcoholic step-mother returns, and Finn asks her out on an anti-date. Can Haley's life handle love right now? Perhaps it is exactly what she needs?

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