Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Harrowing, moving, beautifully written.
on June 22, 2012
From the opening lines to the very last sentence, this book is extraordinary. The format in which it is written is incredibly unique. The characters are extremely well drawn, vivid, and convincing. It's intensely emotional, heart-breaking, and absolutely captivating. To me this book is a masterpiece. Honest, powerful and dark, it's a tale of love and loss, heartache, desperation, losing oneself in grief and healing with the power of love. It's a story of one girl's journey to find everything she lost along the way - her parents, love, meaning in life, and herself.
Zach and London were inseparable. They loved and supported each other. They were not only siblings, but best friends. Until Zach died and London's world crumbled to pieces. Nothing is the same as it used to be. Her mother hates her. She hasn't spoken a word to her daughter since Zach's death. It's almost like London died, too. Or never even existed. Her father is distant and disconnected. He's never around anymore. London is lonely, abandoned and heartbroken. And there is no one to help her through this insanely difficult time. Eventually, she finds herself drifting towards other people, boys in particular, and before she knows it, she finds herself torn between her brother's best friend and a new student, searching for affection and redemption.
Wow. Waiting was phenomenal. Carol Lynch Williams' prose evokes so many feelings. She brings both the powerful sibling love and the piercing pain of losing a family member alive within the pages of her book. She writes with remarkable tenderness and sensitivity, and her beautiful, almost lyrical prose makes your heart flutter. This is the kind of novel that invites the reader to lose themselves completely in its pages, tune out the rest of the world and just... read, taste, feel, and, ultimately, fell in love. While it's fantastically readable, and I'm sure that the burning need to learn more about what exactly happened to Zach will make you want to frantically turn the pages, you should refrain from rushing through it. Slow down, re-read some of the gorgeously written passages, savour. This book is worth every second you'll spend reading it.
While the theme of sibling bond is quite common in the literature, especially in Young Adult books, rarely do I see it being tackled with such skill and authenticity. As I read this novel, my heart was bleeding along with London's. I could see how much she was hurting, how huge a hole Zach's death has ripped in her heart, a hole that could never be filled. The once complete and happy family unit is now totally dysfunctional. London's mom has permanently withdrawn from the family life, ostracising her daughter whom she blames for the death of her beloved son. London's dad is never there, either. He's torn between his devastated, mentally unstable wife and the job that keeps him busy most of the time. London is all on her own, she desperately needs someone to hug her, to pay attention to her, to care about her. She needs someone to save her. And she goes looking for that person, getting tangled up in two different relationships, distracting herself with kisses and touches.
I loved that Carol Lynch Williams kept the mystery going almost all the way to the end. When it comes to Zach and his death, we're kept in the dark for the most part of the book. We get little glimpses of London's memories and a whole downpour of emotions, thoughts, regrets, and what-ifs. Clues and pieces of information are scattered throughout the novel, and it isn't until the end that we finally get the whole picture. I absolutely loved the brilliant, well-thought-out structure of this book. It definitely kept me captivated.
It's not a story of happy endings and joyful family reconciliation. It's a story of picking up the pieces of broken hearts and trying to glue them together. Some pieces are crushed beyond dust, others are missing. The family is forever broken and incomplete, and nothing, no amount of time, tears, or begging can ever heal these wounds. The characters in this story are not flat and paper-like, these are real people, with real problems, who find themselves in devastatingly real situation. But, while its obviously a dark and harrowing read, it's also one that ends with a spark of hope. The ending is a bittersweet one, there's a bit of light and a whole lot of darkness, but, thanks to London's strength and determination, I find the conclusion of the story to be realistically positive and perfectly satisfying.
I cried at the end.
I've put the book down, took a deep breath, broke down and cried.
Read it. It's a MUST!