The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Source: Reblogbookclub on Tumblr, via the publisher.
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down. – Goodreads
I was lucky enough to read this book for reblogbookclub, on tumblr. Which is genius and I could not recommend more. That being said, even after talking about the book on tumblr, I still wanted to talk about the book. This is the story of Hayley, who has not had an easy life. Her father, is a solider, who returned from Iraq quite different than he was before Iraq, understandably. Andy has PTSD, there is an argument going around tumblr and goodreads if this was a textbook case of PTSD, or a downplayed version of PTSD. As someone who does not live with PTSD, or have a relative who has PTSD, I found it easy to understand. I was able to see why Hayley had to grow up fast and why Andy was having problems getting up in the morning. I found it to be very telling and it broke my heart in multiple places, because I wanted both of them to be okay, and real life does not always work that way.
Hayley deals with her home life by putting up massive walls that no one is able to work their way through. She has one best friend and everyone else, to Hayley, is a zombie. Just going through the motions of living without really living. The irony is throughout the novel, I started to question, is Hayley just a zombie herself? A girl, just going through the motions of living?
Throughout the story, there are a cast of other characters. From Hayley’s BFF, to Finn, the boy who tries to get through the hard exterior. Both of whom, are fighting their own demons at home.
I found The Impossible Knife of Memory to be an interesting read in the fact it is so not my normal read. I am a light! fluffy! reader. I have never hidden this. So this got me to go outside my normal boundaries and enjoy something I would have normally not enjoyed. But that being said, it was not a pleasant read for me. It made me cringe, made me want to shake things and made me look outside of my normal world.