Top positive review
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Gobsmacked by LHA
on March 16, 2016
What impressed me most about this book:
*LHA is a master of character. All her characters--primary and secondary--are vibrant and fully-fleshed-out. They are flawed and fierce and memorable. I especially loved Hayley's voice and observations, as well as how Finn was a spot-on representation of a teenage boy who was well on the path to being a feminist man/decent human (without a hint of preachiness from LHA). As a teen in real life, Hayley probably would have terrified me. As a protagonist, I was 1000% in her corner. And I loved the development of the dynamic between Hayley, her dad, and her dad's ex as the family spiraled toward crisis. It was authentic and painful and still full of hope--like the entire novel.
*LHA deftly captures a very real contemporary experience on both the small and large scale of this book. Whether it's passing mentions of fracking, rape culture, genocide (contemporary and historic), or the larger issue of teens growing up with parents who served overseas and are suffering from PTSD, the novel is steeped in now and the social awareness many teens have.
*The novel is excellently paced. Like dominoes or a chain of firecrackers, one thing leads to another and another, pulling you through the book.
Just read it. It's phenomenal. :)