Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review- Outside The Lines by Amy Hatvany

Every now and then I get a chance to read a book outside of the kidlit genre. Recently, I was sent an ARC of Amy Hatvany's newest book, Outside the Lines, a deep and complex novel. I'd like to share a review with my readers.

The Story- Eden, a woman in her thirties, is looking for her mentally ill father. When she was ten, he slit his wrists, and that was the last time she saw him. In the present, her mother's fight with cancer has led Eden to realize the shortness of life, and the desire to see her father again.

Eden risks everything to hunt for her father. She spends time in homeless shelters and morgues looking for clues. As her search continues, she discovers lies told to her by her mother, and struggles to cope with the reality of her childhood.

In the end, a new romance and inner strength give her the boost she needs to continue her search and find out whether her dad is alive or dead.

My Thoughts- Wow, this is a deep and well planned out novel. I was amazed at how the author delved into the world of mental illness and brought it to the forefront of her writing. The details and images she invokes are so real and true to life, as if she's personally witnessed events such as in the book.

The whole novel is told in two different point of views and time frames. We start out with Eden in the present and then jump to Eden when she was 10, the year before her father's attempted suicide. We also see through David, the dad's eyes, in the past and present. By writing the novel this way, the author brings you deep into the story, where there is no right or wrong. Where there is just life and its complications. You are able to understand and feel everything from both perspectives.

Now for the ending, no spoilers, but I did feel the story ended poetically, but before it was finished. But, I think this is because the author ends it with hope, that changes are in the works, and that both Eden and David love each other and are going to fight for their relationship. The ending leaves the reader room to explore the feelings that have been stirred up while reading.

Outside the Lines takes you on an emotional journey. If you've ever wanted a peak into the world of mental illness and its affects on families, this is the book for you. FYI- this is an adult book and contains some alcohol use, drug use, sex and crude language.

If you live in the Northwest like I do, then you have a chance to get a signed copy of the book! Amy will be at the following locations for signings:

Friday, Feb. 10 -  Third Place Books, Bothell, WA 6:30 PM
Sunday, Feb. 12-  Barnes & Noble, Woodinville, WA 2 PM
Thursday, Feb. 23- Powell's Books, Beaverton, OR 7 PM

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