Review: “Between the Tides” by Patti Callahan Henry

Between the Tides by Patti Callahan HenryA review by Julie.

Catherine Leary has not been back to her childhood home since the tragedy that forced her family to move; a tragedy she knew was her own fault. It has been nine months since her dad’s death and she still has not put his ashes in the Seaboro River, honoring his final request. On the night before her birthday, Forrest, her dad’s colleague and a person she once dated, came to her with a birthday letter from her dad. He wants to memorialize her father and the years they lived in Seaboro. Catherine goes with him in the hopes of stopping him from finding out what she’s been hiding about their history. It leads to a trip into the past, and a journey that might lead her into a new life.

This book was definitely intriguing.  There were plenty of twists to keep my interest in the story. This was a book full of love and forgiveness, and a chance for Catherine to find the truth about her past.  The author wrote Catherine as vulnerable and I found that I was really able to relate what she was going through. Forrest was pushy, but not in an unlikable way. He pushed Catherine to get her to fully listen to what was being said. The surprises that popped up were entirely unexpected, which was refreshing. I am often able to figure out the plot and predict what will happen next but the author, through Catherine and Forrest, kept me on my toes while I read this. I enjoyed it very much and I am sure that others will enjoy this book as much as I did.

My rating: 4 /5 stars.

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Review: “Wash Me Away” by Wendy Owens

Wash Me Away by Wendy OwensA review by Domoni.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I want to thank the author for the opportunity to read it.

Addison watched her father die. She could have helped him, but she just watched. Now she is finally free of the controlling monster who kept her secluded away.  Sent to live with her aunt and uncle in a new town where she is attending a real school with other kids, she is starting to learn what life is supposed to be like. With two parental figures that care about her, a new best friend and a cute boy who seems to like her, it all seems overwhelming. Can she trust that Leo likes her for who she is even if he is the son of her therapist? When she starts to learn secrets about the mother she never got to know, Addison doesn’t know if she can trust anyone. And what if they find out the truth about her, about how she had to live before? Will things really ever be “okay”? When tragedy strikes at school, Addison and her friends will have to face horrors that may divide them. Though they may also show Addy that she is not alone in the world.

Addison is the main character and I found myself rooting for her. I felt her confusion and fear, and wanted things to get better for her. The romance between her and Leo was soft and sweet and comforting. He helped her learn to trust and how it felt to be cared for, and she helped him open up and work through the pain he had from losing his brother and moving on from his first love.

All of the supporting cast was brought to life in a full manner. There is Leo, the sweet and caring young man, with a penchant for 80s movies.  His best friend Miyagi, the boy genius, who has a torturous crush on Addy’s new best friend, Julia, who is the perfect, spoiled rich girl. She wants to be on the Olympic ski team, and has a taste for the bad boys. Since she is damaged in her own way, she can’t let herself love someone and open herself to the possibility of pain. These four friends have to live through heartbreaking situations that no child should. I loved each of their characters and cried for all of them.

It has been years since a book has emotionally touched me like Wash Me Away. Wendy Owens took some very sensitive and serious topics and wrote them so well that I ached for the characters. I wanted to reach in and hug each of them at certain points in the novel. One quick word of caution, however: this book touches on subjects of suicide and serious abuse. Although the scenes are not graphic, if you are sensitive to these issues please be aware as you read along. Wash Me Away is my favorite read of 2015 so far.

 

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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