Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: Out of This Place






Title: Out of This Place
Author: Emma Cameron
Pages: 416
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 cows



Goodreads Description:

A powerful novel in verse captures the voices of three teens as they struggle against hardscrabble realities — and move toward their dreams.

Luke spends his days hanging out at the beach, working shifts at the local supermarket, and trying to stay out of trouble at school. His mate Bongo gets wasted, blocking out memories of the little brother that social services took away from his addict mom and avoiding the stepdad who hits him. And Casey, the girl they both love, longs to get away from her strict, controlling father and start anew in a place where she can be free. But even after they each find a way to move on and lead very different lives, can they outrun their family stories — and will they ever be able to come together again? Set in Australia and narrated in alternating points of view, here is an affecting look at the evolving lives of three friends from talented new author Emma Cameron.



Luke has an average life: good parents, good grades, and good friends. He knows he has it better than some of his friends like Casey and Bongo, but he longs for more. He's in love with Casey, and hopes one day she'll return his feelings. He does everything he can to get closer to her, but one day, she tells him she wants out of this place with no reminders of her past. What else can he do but try to build a life and move on. He applies for a welfare traineeship and moves away leaving Casey and Bongo behind.

Casey has a strict life with her father making all her decisions for her, and who's constantly reminding her that she was a mistake and never wanted. Her grandmother is the only one who seems to love her and help her, So when she suffers a stroke, Casey is left to fend for herself with one sole piece of advise from her:

"Never let the bastards win."

When she saves up enough money, she runs away, but one decision could send her down the same path or could end up saving her.

Bongo is slipping through the cracks ever since his brother was taken away from him. His ever-angry father beats him at home, his addict mother has abandoned him, and he can’t be with the girl he loves because his best friend is in love with her too. After he runs away, he moves from shelter to shelter trying to find his place in the world.

Every decision they make moves them farther away from each other, but one tiny miracle will unite them again.

I wasn’t expecting much after reading the first couple of pages and by the time I noticed how deeply engrossed I was, I was completely blindsided. I was swept away by their stories’ and felt their pain. I love that it’s written in free verse, which is poetry like. I believe this is what enabled me to connect so deeply with the characters. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a story of endurance and friendship.

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