Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review: 'See you at Harry's' by Jo Knowles

See You at Harry'sI had planned for ages to read 'See You at Harry's'. One of those books that kept coming up in my twitter feed and in scholastic orders, I planned to pick it up, but kept putting it off. Finally, I've read it. And I'm still thinking about it.

'See you at Harry's' is the story of twelve year old Fern. She's got a crazy family - as so often happens in Young Adult literature. Her Family are the owners of 'Harry's' a family ice cream restaurant. Ferns dad is always trying to find ways to boost business, her mom just wants to go off and meditate, her sister Sara is busy finding ways to not work, her brother Holden has a secret and a new friend. And there's Charlie - her younger brother and the three year old center of the universe. Fern is always trying to find time to be herself and to not be lost in this big, crazy family. While her friend Ran keeps saying "all will be well", Fern has not yet found evidence to support this calming mantra. She believes it when Ran says it - but then returns home and finds the chaos that surrounds her. And then it happens and the world is forever changed.

So, what is it? I can't say. It will ruin things for you. But it is what gripped me. I could picture this family - picture the three year old little boy saying 'See you at Hawee's' in the inane family commercial the dad made them film. I can see the conversations between Holden and Fern discussing his secret life. I can feel the trepidation of Fern as she enters High School. This family is well drawn and through that, drew me into their pain when it happens. Knowles went there and I wish I'd known that (I should have stopped wanting to read the book and instead read about the book). This book examines the feelings that each family member has when a major event happens to them and does so in a realistic manner - grief, guilt, forgiveness, blaming - it's all there. This is a realistic story of a girl who is trying to find her place and what happens to her and her family during this time.

If you're easily upset, read some reviews that give spoilers.

Goodreads Page


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