The Impossible Knife of Memory, by Laurie Halse Anderson | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | July 6, 2014
Age Range: 12 and up
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) (January 7, 2014)
What to expect: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Family, Teenage Life
Hayley Kincain hasn’t exactly led a normal life. Having been on the road for the last five years while her dad has tried to outrun the war memories that terrorize him, Hayley is now trying to come to terms with fitting in in a more “normal” high school setting, living back in her Dad’s old hometown. But just how normal can you try and make your life, when your dad’s still fighting a war inside his head, and you’re trying to battle a past that haunts you, too?
Then Hayley meets Finn, a disarmingly funny and cute guy who forces Hayley to think about the future. Hayley learns to stop running from the past and chooses to meet it head on, but it’s not so easy to do when you’re playing parent to your dad, too.
It’s impossible not to be charmed by Hayley’s feisty armor while simultaneously sympathizing with the anxieties that bubble below the surface of her heroism. Each of Laurie Halse Anderson’s characters are well-rounded and sharp, strong against an equally powerful plot that is dark, enlightening, and entirely unforgettable. The intelligent, quick-witted minds of adolescence—caught between innocence and experience—are perfectly captured. This is a book that will have readers reveling in and recognizing the difficult journey that is trying to make sense of the present and the future, all while navigating the complexities of high school and teenage life. Teen readers will delight in this compelling read.
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About the Author
Laurie Halse Anderson is an American writer best known for children’s and young-adult novels. She received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 2009 for her contribution to young adult literature.
The Impossible Knife of Memory, by Laurie Halse Anderson, was reviewed by Charlie Kennedy. Follow along with our Young Adult Books category to discover more great books.