Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwaway Girl by Kristine Scarrow

Throwaway Girl
Author:  Kristine Scarrow
Publisher:  Dundurn Group
Pages: 264
Release Date: October 18th, 2014
Source: Received free from Netgalley

Andy Burton knows a thing or two about survival. Since she was removed from her mother's home and placed in foster care when she was nine, she's had to deal with abuse, hunger, and homelessness. But now that she's eighteen, she's about to leave Haywood House, the group home for girls where she's lived for the past four years, and the closest thing to a real home she's ever known. Will Andy be able to carve out a better life for herself and find the happiness she is searching for?

I'm just going to come out and say it: I didn't feel emotionally connected to this book. In the end, it just felt really flat, and Andy just didn't feel real to me. Maybe it was the pace of the story, or maybe it was how the narration was done. Either way, I found it hard to commiserate with her, and that made me feel really heartless, which is terrible since I'm an emotional reader.

I think the problem was events just got brushed past too quickly. When tragedy struck, we were just suddenly moving on and it never emotionally registered. I never really saw Andy struggling with the overwhelming weight of grief, or really go through the stages of loss. Where was the anger, where was the denial? When you read a book you can feel when the author understands how painful these experiences were, but there were just too many instances in this book where I didn't get that impression.

It's tough, writing a book with so many bad things happening in it. You want to make it so the reader is rooting for the character, excited for good things to come around. But Andy never really drew me in and made me love her. Yeah, it sucked, but it was sort of coming across like a sob story. I mean, when I read books like Oliver Twist and Black Beauty, I was sobbing because I felt so bad for them. It was almost surreal reading this and not being able to feel something for this poor character. She just felt disconnected from everything. It was like that awkward feeling you get if someone just suddenly says "mom abused me and never loved me" in the middle of a cheery conversation. Suddenly everything is just, awkward, and you don't have the foundation to really feel their pain yet. 

I don't know, I wish there had been more to this. More emotion, more connection, and more life. Her life sucked, yes, but I want to know: what else?

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