Thank you NETGALLEY and ALICE HOFFMAN, I loved this novel. Alice Hoffman is one of my all time favorite authors, she starts a story and you become so invested in the characters that they are all you can think about.
This is the story about Shelby Richmond, a normal teenage girl with all the drama that comes with being a teenager. Something terrible happens to Shelby, and the story starts from there…..
I loved the character of Shelby, she is a true animal lover and this novel shows us how important animals are and the way they help us with our sadness, how they make us want to live, they help us learn to love ourselves and those around us.
My heart broke for her, Shelby suffers from extreme guilt , she doesn’t understand how she lived and her best friend, Helene who will be in a coma for the rest of her life, and this is all Shelby’s fault. Shelby suffers a breakdown, and is comminuted, unfortunately in a place that is supposed to help Shelby, she is abused, her mother takes her out and brings her home, from there she survives by living in her parents basement, she is alone, doesn’t see people , she barely eats, she is full of guilt and self loathe.
But Shelby also has great strength, although I don’t think she realizes how strong she is. She is
full of great compassion, but the quilt and remorse is sucking the life out of her. She decides to move away from her parents, she gets a job, but she keeps a distance from people, she basically walks alone, she lives with Ben, even though he has plans for the future, Shelby doesn’t feel the same way. She is more into self destruction, makes more bad choices, not really to hurt other people
but she feels unlovable, and feels she gets what she deserves.
But then she makes a good friend and allows herself to care about other people, she reconnects with her mom, she rescues mistreated dogs, Shelby begins to heal.
I don’t want to say too much, there are several layers to this novel, there are several heart retching moments, there is anger, helplessness, this is an emotional journey, so many ups and downs.
So if you love novels with family, messy relationships, illnesses, rape, self loathe, but also a great love for animals, new beginnings, learning to live with the cards you have been dealt and making the most out of it. This novel is about forgiving yourself and realizing that accidents happen, and life really does go on. Everyone deserves to be loved and to have a happy life.
Thank you NETGALLEY …..