Sunday, June 15, 2014

Learning Not To Drown by Anna Shinoda

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copy was borrowed from library

Family secrets cut to the bone in this mesmerizing debut novel about a teen whose drug-addicted brother is the prodigal son one time too many.

There is a pecking order to every family. Seventeen-year old Clare is the overprotected baby; Peter is the typical, rebellious middle child; and Luke is the oldest, the can’t-do-wrong favorite. To their mother, they are a normal, happy family.

To Clare, they are a family on the verge of disaster. Clare: the ambitious striver; Peter: the angry ticking time bomb; and Luke: a drug-addicted convicted felon who has been in and out of jail for as long as Clare can remember—and who has always been bailed out by their parents.

Clare loves Luke, but life as his sister hasn’t been easy. And when he comes home (again), she wants to believe this time will be different (again). Yet when the truths behind his arrests begin to surface, everything Clare knows is shaken to its core. And then Luke is arrested. Again.

Except this time is different, because Clare’s mom does the unthinkable on Luke’s behalf, and Clare has to decide whether turning her back on family is a selfish act…or the only way to keep from drowning along with them.

Debut novelist Anna Shinoda's raw, gritty, powerful novel cuts right to the bone and brings to life the skeletons the lurk in the closet.

I really didn't know anything about this book when I picked it up. I heard about it on someone's video on booktube and I immediately requested for my library. After reading it now I don't remember what I was expecting at all. I knew it was a contemporary but I didn't realize that it was about a girl whose brother was in prison. This book took me by surprise because usually contemporaries are about romance and such, but this one was more about family and hard topics such as family members being in prison. I really love this book because I had never read a book about such a topic before. Usually hard topic contemporaries are about things like drugs or depression and things.

I think this book has a lot of things that people can recognize and people that they know, not necessarily in the brother or the main character but in the other characters like her parents and how they reacted to the situation.

This book took me longer to read than most books to you but it had nothing to do with the story itself it was just not something that I was willing to read quickly because it was very heavy and not necessarily the easiest thing to read quickly. This book was quite frustrating that is probably the best way to describe the book overall was very frustrating.

If you're looking for a contemporary that covers some tough topics that are not what are usually covered in YA books I definitely suggest that you try this one. The reason I'm giving this book four stars instead of five is because it didn't completely capture my interest the entire time and the ending was skipping around a little bit because it was becoming a little bit boring. I definitely recommend this book for nearly anyone especially people will like to have topic contemporaries and are looking for something new.

1 comment:

  1. So awesome to see more contemporaries that are not romance based. This one sounds intriguing, what with the MC's brother in prison and all that. I love the cover as well, thanks for sharing :)

    Joy @ Thoughts By J