My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was AMAZING. The kind of book I’ve been wanting to read for a very long time, without knowing it. It was so real and raw and honest. I loved that it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. There was real struggle, even after they found paradise.
The story is told from Carey’s point of view. A young, teenage girl who looks after her six year old sister, Janessa. They live, like scavengers, in a camper in the woods where their mother left them. Their mother who comes and goes, leaving them with scraps and beans. Their mother who does awful things to her girls in order to fund a meth habit. The story starts with Carey’s father and a social worker finding the girls and continues in three sections.
The first section focuses mainly on Carey and Janessa’s reintegration back to civilisation. Back to plumbing and restaurants and soft beds and a family home. It shows Carey’s gratitude yet confusion over missing a place that wasn’t meant for survival, but a familiar and comforting home. The first section was my favourite part. I was absolutely hooked. Reading as these two poor girls are swept back into modern first world life and completely unprepared for it. Fantastic.
The second section focuses on Carey’s development and character. Now that she’s settled into her new home (mostly) and has a new step-mother who can take care of her little sister, Carey is left to look after herself. She goes to school and learns to navigate the cruel and strange hallways of a high school. She meets a boy. She learns about fashion and parties and friendships. It was lovely and sweet to see how she reacted to it.
And the last section focuses on revelations. It uncovers the secrets that have been hinted at throughout the other two sections. The reason why Carey’s little sister no longer talks. The reason Carey can’t quite let go enough to enjoy being back at home. The reason why she can’t let herself bond with her dad. And it does not disappoint.
There were a couple things I wanted answering that never were…but that’s life, I suppose! Not everything has an answer there and then. I would love if there were a sequel to this. The end is very unsure and if would be great to see the fallout of the revelations.
5 stars. Without a doubt. I would recommend EVERYONE read this.