Book Review: The Impossible Knife Of Memory

The Impossible Knife Of Memory CoverBook: The Impossible Knife Of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Published January 2014 by Penguin Group|400 pages

Where I Got It: Nook store

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

You can find The Impossible Knife Of Memory on goodreads & Laurie Halse Anderson on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: 

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.

What I Thought:

When I saw that Laurie Halse Anderson had a new book, I knew I had to read it!  It’s right up there with Speak as one of my favorite Laurie Halse Anderson books, and I couldn’t help but relate to Hayley.

Hayley has so much going on at home with her dad, and she definitely has a lot of her own issues to deal with, not to mean everything her dad is going through.  Hayley’s dad isn’t the only going through things.

What really stuck with me was how we’d see a chapter from Andy’s POV every once in a while.  It struck me as something really different because you don’t normally see anything from the POV of the parent, and it really added to what was going on with both Andy and Hayley.

I felt like Anderson handled Andy’s PTSD and his experiences as a soldier so well and with so much care.  I’m glad Hayley has good friends in Grace and Finn and that she realized she can count on Trish, even with Trish leaving them years earlier. It’s such a great look at PTSD and how everyone deals with it and that it’s not limited to the person with PTSD but their friends and family as well.

My only complaint- which is a minor one- is that the ending wrapped up a little too nicely, especially with everything that happened in the book.  I did expect a happy-ish/hopeful ending, which we definitely got, but…something about it was a little too nice and neat.  Still, I so very much loved everything about this book, and I’m willing to overlook the ending because Laurie Halse Anderson has done such a good job at making both Hayley and her dad easy to relate to and understand.

Let’s Rate It:

The Impossible Knife Of Memory is another amazing book by Laurie Halse Anderson.  She does such a great job at creating characters who seem like real people and are so easy to relate to, even if you’ve never been through what they’re going through.  I love the few chapters from Andy’s point of view, and it really adds to Hayley’s story.  The Impossible Knife Of Memory gets 5 stars.

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