Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Published: January 7th, 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mental Health
My Rating: 4.75 Stars
For the past five years, Hayley Kincain 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.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.
Laurie Halse Anderson’s books hold a special place in my reader’s heart. Her books always touch on difficult issues that aren’t discussed fully, in my opinion, in the YA community, yet are issues that teens and young adults face. Most of us know of or have read Speak, Anderson’s amazing book about a young girl dealing with the aftermath rape. Speak is top 10 best books I’ve ever read. Anderson also tackled eating disorders in Wintergirls. I found that book heartbreaking and brilliant. The Impossible Knife Memory discusses PTSD, and mental health issues is a way only Laurie Halse Anderson can deliver.
Hayley’s voice throughout the story stuck with me. She has a pessimism about life, that feels so real. She’s snarky. And everything about her worldview makes sense as we are introduced to her father, a man who is a war vet suffering from PTDS.
To be honest, I don’t know much about PTDS, I do know that Laurie Halse Anderson does research that anyone who does research should be envious of. I have been following her blog for a long time, and while she was writing this book as well as Wintergirls, she shared some of her research and discussed her ways of learning and understanding the issues that she was writing about.
Hayley’s snark and voice hides deep issues that she is struggling with while trying to deal with her father and what he’s living through. Hayley trying to fix everything and everyone while not dealing with herself is, just, so relatable.
This book is wonderful, I could never praise Laurie Halse Anderson enough. This book is another excellent example proving that Anderson is one of this generation’s best and most powerful writers.
Have you read this book? Have you read Laure Halse Anderson’s other books? What did you think?
Until next time Internet,