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review 2016-04-24 16:20
heartbreaking, Uplifting, Thought-provoking and Totally Stunning
Tell the Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt

Oh my, what a book; heartbreaking, uplifting, thought-provoking and totally stunning. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading this wonderful debut.


I’m not quite sure how to categorize this book. It’s a coming of age story. It’s a story about first love. This book tells the tale of the aftermath of a devastating loss. Tell the Wolves I’m Home is about human imperfection and isn’t afraid to be honest about selfishness while showing there are always opportunities to redeem ourselves again.


This story deals with AIDS at a time when the disease first exploded into our consciousness. That in and of itself would be more than enough to make this a thought-provoking read. But it does more. It places the disease in the middle of other, timeless, struggles. June is only fourteen when her beloved uncle and godfather Finn dies. It is her first confrontation with the cruelty of death, and since it is the uncle she not only loves but has also fallen in love with who dies, it triggers an avalanche of feelings in her she’s just not equipped to deal with yet.


I admired the honesty of the author. June is not always a nice character to read about. Some of her feelings and actions are totally selfish—without regard for the feelings of others or potential consequences. And that’s only right. Fourteen is a tough time even when your life runs smoothly. Through June’s experiences we see the continued struggle growing up can be and while it isn’t always easy to read, it does sound true to life and was, for me at least, totally recognisable. After all, doesn’t every teenager just know that nobody has ever loved as deeply or hurt as badly as they do?


While AIDS features prominently in this story, I wouldn’t say it is a story about the disease. For me it was a story about growing up, about losing and finding again both yourself and those around you. The tale it tells was all to recognisable for me; suddenly losing the connection you’ve always had to your parents and sibling(s), the overpowering hugeness of the new feelings you experience, and the push and pull between wanting to discover the rest of your life while yearning for the simplicity of yesterday.


For me this was a poignant and brutally honest story. There are no easy answers, nor comfortable solutions. Not every issue is resolved, nor every worry erased. And while that means Tell the Wolves I’m Home wasn’t always easy to read it did make the book totally engrossing and I can say with absolute certainty that this story will play on my mind for quite some time to come.

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review 2016-03-22 16:24
Just wonderful
Tell the Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt
  I don't have much to say - it is just wonderful. I loved every word and I can't add anything to that!
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review 2016-03-10 00:00
Stilinski's Home for Wayward Wolves
Stilinski's Home for Wayward Wolves - ow... Stilinski's Home for Wayward Wolves - owlpostagain image

Pack fic.

Stiles arrives in a Beacon Hills that experienced all the crazy that we know and love but without him and becomes the pack whisperer. A pack whisperer is needed as Derek is still a shit alpha. Stiles has his work cut out for him but he cuddles Derek around.

This is like my third cuddle fic in a row and my third no smexy time in a row and I'm totally enjoying them. I think I've become an adult and will no long snigger when I see something like 69...


Not an adult...

I sniggered.

Anyway. I liked the pack snuggles and the Stiles and Derek snuggles and the Stiles and Derek bonding. All good.
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review 2015-05-19 21:03
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves - Karen Russell

Karen Russell is one of the most talented and creative short story writers I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. The title story of this collection is one of my favorite short stories ever, and the rest of the collection does not disappoint.


In these quirky magical realism tales, boys frantically ice skate through artificial blizzards, fat girls get stuck inside giant seashells, and a teenager takes her ghost boyfriend to swamp prom. The stories feature young characters and are hilarious and heartbreaking. They blend vivid realism and wild imagination in a way that leaves the reader feeling slightly off-kilter.


Here are a few of the stand-out stories:


In “Haunting Olivia,” two brothers set out to find their sister after she floats away on a giant crab shell. This story perfectly blends humor and devastation.


In “Children’s Reminiscences of the Westward Migration,” a Minotaur pulls his wife and children across the plains in a covered wagon. This story took me a while to get into, but the characters are so strange that I ended up loving it.


As I already mentioned, “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” is one of my favorite short stories ever. It’s about the nuns at St. Lucy’s Home and their attempt to turn a pack of wild wolfgirls into proper young ladies. This story is sad and weird and laugh-out-loud funny. The writing is brilliant. It’s definitely the best story in the collection.


It’s hard to come up with criticisms of this book, but I think a few of the stories went over my head a little. I didn’t feel like I totally understood their full meaning. Also, many of the characters in the stories are very similar. Every story features at least one precocious child, and I would have liked the kids to have more distinct personalities.


These are very minor criticisms. I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re in the mood for something unusual.

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review 2015-03-18 00:00
Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel
Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel - Carol Rifka Brunt Set against the backdrop of the early years of the AIDS epidemic, this was a touching coming of age story. Not only has 14 year old June just lost her Uncle Finn to AIDS, but there are secrets coming out that have her questioning all she has thought about her Uncle and her family.

There are a number of relationships in this book that are tinged with jealousy and misunderstanding. The most egregious is June's mother Danni, whose jealousy and misdirected anger at her brother Finn, over her own inability to stand on her own and move on, has resulted in an emotional blackmail with years of lies and is causing June even more pain as she tries to grieve.

June's relationship with Toby, the only other person she feels might understand her pain, is fraught with complications and her older sister Greta seems to be spiraling downward before her eyes. I related to June and her "weirdness" and Toby was a bright spot in the story. Even Greta grew on me in the end, but I couldn't find myself giving Danni any good thoughts.

Heartbreaking at times, this was a good read with layered relationships and interesting characters that made for a good book club discussion.
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