June 11, 2013

Latest Read: Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Here are the basics ...
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Publication date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Category: (Young) Adult / Contemporary Fiction
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary: 1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life, Toby. Someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Tell the Wolves I'm Home completely blindsided me. On the surface it's a story about a girl named June who's lost her dear Uncle Finn and how she struggles with her grief. It's the kind of book that will inevitably pull at your heartstrings and maybe even break it a tiny bit as you follow June's journey. What I didn't see coming was the rollercoaster of emotions I ended up feeling throughout the course of the book. Anger, frustration, discomfort, understanding, sadness. There was even a point when I stopped and thought to myself - almost every one of these characters is driving me crazy. I don't know if I like this. But then there was just this moment and it all clicked into place for me. As cheesy as it is to say, I got the moral of the story. (And no, I won't tell you what it is exactly.)

What the summary doesn't tell you is that book it isn't just about June. It's also about Finn, her mother, her sister Greta, Finn's friend Toby and to a certain extent, even June's father's story gets told. It's about how each of them love fiercely and the many ways love can make you do and feel crazy things. Sometimes petty, angry and jealous things. How sometimes love doesn't make sense at all.

June is really young and she's terrible when it comes to speaking up. She doesn't know how to read people, I mean she barely understands herself.  But there's this awkward innocence to her and this desperation to be loved. I couldn't help but feel for her. Who hasn't felt desperate to be loved and accepted for exactly who they are? But even other characters, like Greta and her mom. Sometimes (actually, a lot of the time), I hated them. They could be so cruel and judgmental. Yet at the root of it, they were just scared and hurt and trying to hold onto their loved ones. But I think the two people who made the biggest impression on me were Uncle Finn and Toby. I can't go into too much detail but their personality and hearts just leapt off the pages. I loved seeing them through June's eyes and the impact they each made on her. Honestly, every person is so (tragically) flawed and ultimately that's what made the book so beautiful to me.

(Potential) reservations: Just be ready to feel frustrated and possibly a tad uncomfortable by certain characters. But just. keep. reading.

Do I recommend?: It is a truly heartbreaking book -- I don't think it's possible to read this and not be sobbing by the end of it. So if you're in the mood for beautiful storytelling and a good long cry, read this.

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. This is on my TBR list so I cannot wait to move it up. Your review makes me want to read it now.

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  2. So basically, you're telling me that I MUST read this book. Seriously, this sounds brilliant and moving and very very different. Plus, that cover is GORGEOUS.

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  3. I hadn't heard of this book until today but it sounds fantastic! You know, it's been quite a while since I last cried during a book so it'll be nice to pick this up and let all my emotion out. Also, the cover is so pretty! I love the color scheme! :)

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  4. I loved this book in a serious way and definitely sobbed in it. Great review!

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