The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: Jan 7 / 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
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.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 is a pretty famous author but I've never read anything by her. With that said, I had a high expectation when I picked up the Impossible Knife of Memory. It promised to be "the best of Laurie Halse Anderson" or something like that. Needless to say, I was greatly disappointed.
I thought the book was off to a pretty great start, keeping it light with Hayley's sarcastic tone and the kind of blooming romance with Finn. At that point, I would've give the book a B. Slowly, we go into the middle and that's when things started to get really boring. Hayley started being rude and annoying. She'd get mood swings and lash out at her friends for no reason. She isn't the only one with a crappy life in the story. Everyone's lives were pretty messed up. I almost considered putting the book down because of how I couldn't stand the narrator and the slow pace. At that point, I would've given it a grade of D. Finally, at the end, it picked up a bit and we were left with an emotional ending.
I didn't really like the slow pace and how the character was annoying. The book had a pretty awesome beginning and end. I especially enjoyed her relationship with Finn and her father. The love story was cute. The father-daughter bonding story almost made me cry. It was truly beautiful. Overall, the horrible balances out the amazing; I'd give the book a rating of C.