Synopsis

The moment she felt her consciousness seeping back inside her, she knew where she was. She didn’t have to look. Or listen. No one had to come whisper in her ear. She could smell it that far out, returning…

When sixteen-year-old Connelly Pierce wakes up inside an unknown psychiatric hospital, with both her wrists slashed, she begins the arduous task of piecing together the events of her life that led her there. Her own cognitive behavioral therapy (as she had learned so well from them). Starting with the sudden death of her mother and father when she was six, and the only world she knew disappeared, literally, overnight. That’s when, with no known or, at least, close relatives, she and her nine-year-old brother Eric find themselves cast into the nightmare quagmire of government child protection agencies, and Connelly begins her incredible, fourteen-year journey—her odyssey—into her own brave new world. A world, she realizes, she must not only quickly adapt, but fight back as well, if she hopes to survive. 

Review

James Snyder has created a story that drove me crazy. It evoked so many emotions of pity, anguish, and frustration while still maintaining your sanity with flashbacks or split seconds of happiness. It touches on loss, adaptation, suffering, growth, and the search for happiness and ones self.

The main character is sixteen year old Connelly Pierce who is remembering her childhood while…inside a mental institution? We are only given snippets of the present situation Connelly is in; and from what I’ve gathered, she is in a mental hospital due to years of abuse from various families. It hints that she has done something bad to her older brother which creates so much suspense. I really want to keep reading about her life from age six, forward so that I can maybe understand her current situation better. She is a really well developed character, and as the story continues, more and more is revealed about her and the person she is becoming. She is a really well developed character who I feel completely connected to. She could very well be a real person.

I have to admit that I found some parts of the book a bit slow – that could very well be because of my preference of action packed, fantasy books. And I found that for some chapters the book would fall into a routine of telling the story step-by-step. It would just be, this happened, then this, then this etc. and that could get a little boring. But the story would always pick up again when Connelly is thrown into a new situation.

***May be spoilers beyond this point***

I CAN’T STAND THE CARDSWELL FAMILY. They are what is wrong with society! They focus too much on an unrealistic ideal that they lose sight of what real happiness is and create a living hell for everyone else!!! I felt so sorry for Connelly having to endure living with this family for two years (I think?). They tried to shove their drastic beliefs down her throat while the father and sons in the family sexually, emotionally, morally and spiritually abused poor 7/8 year old Connelly. The last couple chapters of the book really picked up and got a reaction from me – which I love – but almost couldn’t stand at the same time.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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