Tuesday, 1 March 2016

How Many Letters Are in Goodbye?

Save the Date!

By: Yvonne Cassidy 
Published: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Flux
Source: Netgalley e-arc
Rating: 3.5/5


"Seventeen-year-old Rhea Farrell carries the scars of a childhood accident in which she lost her arm. But she also carries scars that aren't so visible--the loss of a mother she hardly remembers, the impact of her father's drinking, and her confusion and pain around accepting her sexuality.

When Rhea runs away, she turns to the person she always wished she could confide in--her mother. And just like she used to do as a little girl, Rhea starts to write her letters--to tell her things she can't tell anyone else, to share her fears, to ask for help. Rhea's journey on the streets of New York brings her deeper into her mother's past where she uncovers buried family secrets. And as she finds out more about the woman her mother truly was, Rhea also discovers just what kind of woman she wants to be." (x)

My Thoughts

I was given the opportunity to read this book by Flux through Netgalley. This in no way affected my opinion or views on this story. 

It's always hard to rate a book when it deals with such real-life and serious issues. How Many Letter's Are in Goodbye? deals with a lot of tough issues, and at times made me feel uncomfortable. But the point of a book like this is too push people beyond what makes them comfortable. It's to introduce people to a life that is very upsetting, but also a huge reality for many people.

Rhea was a super interesting character. At times I felt that she was very immature especially since she was 17/18 throughout the story. Then again, this could be a product of the way she was raised or simply to do with the fact that at 18 you think you know everything- after all, you are officially an adult! One of the things that I really liked about Rhea's characterization was that she wasn't just one thing. She wasn't just missing an arm, she wasn't just gay, or lost or homeless. The realities are that things don't happen to people in isolation. Its not like the world goes- whoops she's already lost an arm, nothing else can happen to her!. She was layered and complex and above all else her character was heartbreakingly real, living a story that happens far too often.

I definitely enjoyed the later portion of this book more. At times I just felt that the portion where Rhea was on the streets was a bit forced. There was just something about the writing that I struggled a to connect with. However when Rhea got to the camp and started to work out things- oh man I cried! It was so well done, and I felt that it was so very real. Its such an important kind of story to be sharing with our young people, especially when it comes to learning how to deal with/come to terms with tragedy in our lives.

Overall I felt that this story is one that needs to be told, and people need to hear it- young and old. I would recommend this story to fans of contemporary stories, stories that deal with deep issues and anyone interesting in LGBTQA YA.

This story comes out on March 8th- so mark the dates in your calendar- you don't want to miss it!

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