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Charm & Strange Hardcover – June 11, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
It was actually kind of scary to read Charm & Strange due to all the emotions it unlocked within me. I've never had depression yet I instantly connected with Andrew and I definitely understood what he was going through. I understood exactly how Andrew was feeling, all those dark feelings swirling around inside of you, threatening to escape. Stephanie Kuehn managed to include so much raw emotion and feeling into Andrew.
Andrew may be a fictional character but he exists because there is a little bit of Andrew inside of everyone. Everyone experiences bad times and dark feelings that you just don't know how to express. Thank you, Stephanie Kuehn for bringing light to horrors that everyone deals with at some point in their life. Stephanie Kuehn has created the most realistic, complex characters that I have ever seen in all of literature. Her characters are the type that don't just live on the page, these are characters that you will keep with you in your mind. You won't be able to forget the characters Kuehn created and you'll be thinking about them long after you finish reading.
Charm & Strange is beautifully written in such an unique, heart-breaking way. This book will fill you with so much emotion that you didn't even know that it was building up inside of you. I loved the literary techniques Kuehn utilized in this book and they were so essential in making Charm & Strange, a hauntingly realistic book.Read more ›
Along the way we’re given chapters that are flashbacks of Win’s childhood which depicts a very different life than the one he leads now, one with parents and siblings and summer’s away visiting grandparents and cousins. I must say that I really enjoyed the relationship between Win and his older brother and younger sister. There’s an honesty and complexity shown, especially between him and his brother that makes their relationship very believable. It doesn’t take long to realize these glimpses into Win’s past are slowly revealing how and why he became the broken person he is today. But does this mean he’s really a wolf? You’ll have to read it for yourself to find out :)
I found that once I started reading I couldn’t pull myself away; this is largely in part to Kuehn’s brilliant writing. The way in which she tells this story is mesmerizing, she writes in a style that is simple yet full of lyrical metaphors that provide subtle clues in Win’s heartbreaking tale.Read more ›
And what a ride! I couldn't put it down. A first-person narrative told mostly in alternating present/past chapters, the two timelines move along in parallel, rising in pitch and clarity, until they merge at a perfectly-timed climax point when both the reader and the narrator have their 'aha' moment. As the veil is lifted on the past and the truth crashes through, so it does in the present. Brilliantly paced, with a perfect and heart-wrenching denouement.
Scrawny, whiny Andrew Winston Winters (Drew) hits an opponent over the head with a tennis racket after losing a match. The following summer, he and his older brother are shipped north to New England to spend stay with their austere grandparents and spend time with their mysterious cousins. Six years later, now Winston Winters (Win) resides at a boarding school in Vermont. He's forever traumatized by the events of that summer, isolating his peers, fighting mental health issues around every corner.
I assumed Win was a therapeutic boarding school, either for something he did or something that was done to him, but he never mentioned the type of school in his narration. Chapters alternated between the events Drew underwent at a child, and Win's life in boarding school. During his younger years, I wanted to give him a hug and drive him straight to a therapist's office. At boarding school, I wanted to sit him down and make him tell me what was real, what was delusion and drive him straight to a therapist's office. I couldn't figure out if he was delusional, traumatized, a bad seed or maybe all three at the same time. I didn't feel particularly attached to Drew or Win, honestly my mind was consumed with trying to figure out what I was reading. The minor characters were hard to assess, because Andrew Winston Winters was, if nothing else, an unreliable narrator.
CHARMED AND STRANGE is a mystery, not mystery as a genre, but mystery as to "what the heck is going on". Even after I finished reading, I still didn't have answers. The last chapters were a small peek into the windows of the life altering events, but we were never rewarded with the complete story of those events. I felt somewhat cheated.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Holy Crap! What a brilliant debut novel!!! Did I see the ending coming???? Not until the end - and only when the Author wanted me to see the truth. Read morePublished 2 days ago by bella79954
Reviewed by Julie
Book provided by the publisher
Originally posted at Romancing the Book
This book is simply incredible. Read more
I never read the back of books; therefore, I had no idea what this was about, just that it was recommended based on my past reading choices. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kasey J. Tritt
A bit disappointing. Hard to follow. Picks up interest mid-book, but slows again to the end. I am not a young adult but have young adult daughters and frequently read their... Read morePublished 2 months ago by devoted reader
A beautiful, haunting story about a boy named Andrew Winston Winters (Win) who experienced something horrible in his childhood and is now dealing with the repercussions. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Stephanie Kuehn has crafted a mysterious thriller that savors language and character. It is both everything and nothing you think it is right up until the cold-certain reveal that... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tom Leveen
This was a very good book however I felt that their were a lot of pieces missing and lack of detail. Read morePublished 9 months ago by independentqueen12
I decided to read this based on the stellar reviews I saw on this site. While I did find it compelling (I read it in one sitting) I just didn't feel the wow factor that the reviews... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lisa Renee
This book is so amazing. I love the narrator's voice. His view of the world is so stunning and different. The why is soul shattering. No spoilers. But wow. Read morePublished 10 months ago by M. A. Patterson