Written By: Yvonne Cassidy.
Category: LGBTQIA | Teen & YA.
Synopsis: 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.
My Thoughts: Confused. That is how I felt about 80% of the time I read this book. To be honest, when I first started reading, I found it really hard to get into, it was pretty boring. I started reading and ended up putting it down and had to wait two weeks before I could muster up enough energy and patience to try it again. Again, I was bored, but slowly it got better…Until it got bad again, it was a constant roller coaster of good, than bad, good and then bad again. It got to the point where I was mentally begging God for it to end. It was SO long and the worst part of it was that the length was not necessary to tell the story! There was so much going on that had nothing to do the the backbone of the core storyline. I am pretty sure that half of Rheas journey with Sergei could have been tossed in the can and we would have gotten the point.
There was actually a point where I felt things were going to get interesting. Maybe I just watch too much Law & Order (apparently so does Rhea) but I was convinced that Sergei was a murderer and I was anxious to see how it would unfold. Unfortunately though, Sergei was just a plain ole backstabbing bastard and not a murdering backstabbing bastard. It is quite sad how bad I wanted the story to go in that direction even though I know in my heart of hearts that that would have been a shit show, but no matter how outrageous, it would have been better than the snooze fest I was exposed to.
Rhea is my least favorite type of protagonist. She was… I would like to say naive. but that word requires a certain amount of innocence that was no not apparent in Rhea. I hate to say it, but she was kind of a moron, like come on girl, GET IT TOGETHER. She let people walk all over her and do her dirty (Aunt Ruth, Sergei, Laurie and Cooper just to name a few) I was waiting for her to go off on Laurie for being a manipulative crazy bitch, but unfortunately that never came. Maybe I am just bitter, but Rhea was far too forgiving. Yes, I know, I know people deserve second chances… but I also know that some things are inexcusable and some people do not deserve second chances. If Rhea had been a little less clueless, she would have seen that Laurie didn’t even deserve a first chance.
So in the synopsis, it was made clear that Rhea was an amputee. I found that to be very intriguing, because I have never come across a book that explores that life of an amputee. My father was an amputee so it wasn’t anything new me and it was one of the reason I wanted to read this story. The problem is, the fact that she was an amputee had absolutely NOTHING to do with the story. It was so unnecessary that I am inclined to believe that the author just threw that in there for shock value. It added NOTHING to the story and even the story behind her losing her arm had no relevance.
I gave it three stars so it can’t be all bad, right?
The ending is what really made everything come together. Once she found out the truth about her mother, things started to get interesting and she was really able to start to figure everything out. Not just about her mother, but about herself, her father and even her distant family members. The author did an amazing job at telling her mother’s story through the letters. A lot of time, situations like this are just sprung on you and are meant to be more shocking than to serve any real purpose. There is always a stereotype of the way a person like her mother behaves that is really not at all accurate. The author explored the real side to her disorder and the gradual progression into her mother’s illness. It was told so truthfully and spot on and it is hard not to appreciate that.
It is a shame, because this could have been a five star book in not for all of the unnecessary ramblings and all of repetitiveness. The story was there, it was just hidden underneath all of that and you shouldn’t have to dig so deep to get to the actual story.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐