The synopsis is vague and after reading it, I figured out why. There was a plot, sure. But not one that could be summed up in the book. There are only about 210 pages, so it’s a relatively short book. I’d say the only thing wrong with the book is that it doesn’t really go anywhere. That doesn’t mean I didn’t love it, don’t get me wrong, but it was only set around about a week so it seemed like not much happened.
While reading the book, I felt like a lot was going on because there was a lot of feelings and flashbacks but after the book I realized that it was just happening and that there wasn’t a big moment where I felt like I NEEDED to finish it right then and there. I loved this book. I’d definitely read it again, but it wasn’t any more intense at one given moment.
The plot: Basically, Meredith’s father is in prison as was supposed to stay in prison for nine years when Meredith would be 18 and away from where her father would be. Unfortunately, he was let out after just three years and she was far too young to get away from him. That happened within the first three pages. The rest of the book was her trying to survive being around the despicable person that was her father.
Her mother cared more about Meredith and was always on her husband’s side. Even going so far as to let Meredith and her father alone together (big problem and actually against the law.) Basically, her mom didn’t care about what happened and what sent her husband to prison. So it was Meredith against both of her parents. It was sad, heartbreaking, frustrating, and made me so angry for her. 4 stars from me.
The characters: I love Meredith. She’s broken and scared but I could tell that she’s so much stronger than she thinks. She was the perfect character. It’s unfortunate and absolutely heartbreaking that there are real people like her everywhere. It’s also unfortunate there are people like her father. I was terrified of him and he’s just a character. But that’s just it: he’s not just a character. There are thousands of people like him that don’t go to prison at all. The characters were so well written and so real because there are real versions of them.
Then there is Meredith’s best friend, Andy. Andy lives in the apartment complex with her. He’s paralyzed from the waist down and was a good character, but I just didn’t feel the connection with him. I think he’d be a forgettable character and within a few months I may forget his name. Overall, 4.5 stars for me.
The writing: I think this was the strongest part of the book. The writing was fluid. There were flashbacks that seemed to fit perfectly with the story and never went too long. They always left you wondering what happened next and then they would cut off from the flashback.
One thing I commend Laura Wiess for is not going into detail about what happened between her father and her. That can be a very, very hard subject for a lot of people to read and the book never made it uncomfortable for the reading. 5 stars for me.
This book has a heavy subject. There weren’t many times that I laughed. But it’s a book that I think more people need to read because this is real. People need to be aware of things like this.