Author: Emily Murdoch
Date of Publication: Originally March 2013
Source: Review copy from the publisher
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I received a free copy of this book from Indigo in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Indigo!
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This review is really hard to write, and it's another one I honestly think I cannot do justice on. It really hit home and, whilst being beautifully written, had that element of the protagonist being a normal teen.
Carey and Jenessa (or Nessa, for short) have been abandoned by their mother, living off beans and washing in a swamp. Then, people arrive and they begin a new life, with a new family, new school and eating normal food.
I was honestly shocked by some of this book. It contains those things that you know happen, but yet, when you read about them, they make you think even harder about the world we live in, and it made me thankful for what I have (even though that sounds cheesy, I couldn't find a better way to describe it). Little things, like Carey not knowing what a washing machine was, and how deeply their first time in years eating crisps is described.
"Closing my eyes, I savour the crisps, trying to remember
the last time I'd eaten the salty, crunchy goodness."
I loved how Murdoch spared absolutely no detail whatsoever. There was so much to empathize with and so much to learn about the characters and the history. Little touches, like the writing being in Carey's dialect (no g's, such as blinkin', talkin' etc) made this even more unique and just all the more powerful.
As a character, I adored Carey. She had been through so much, looking after her sister and so many other things, and yet, she was still so strong-willed and determined. I think she is a role model in YA.
Her mum having men pay to rape and sexually abuse her affects her so significantly as a character, which we see in her thoughts, emotions and the way she acts, but yet she keeps going.
Carey sees herself so differently to how she really is, and I had so much love for her in this quote;
"We stare at the strange girl, the poker-straight
hair woven into a thick French braid by her gentle hands
that morning, and the large blue eyes blinking in disbelief..."
Murdoch has written a staggering, thought-provoking read. I didn't want to tear my eyes away and the emotions, description and little details make it perfect. I honestly can't find a fault.