Monday, July 28, 2014

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

This mesmerizing novel is narrated by smart and sassy teenage girl,
Emily Shepherd. She lives in a small town in Vermont with her parents and dog Maggie. Emily's parents both work at the nuclear energy plant nearby. As controversial as the plant may be, the residents live a simple life and Emily most certainly is your typical underachieving sulky teen. Until the day her life and all those around her is turned upside down by a nuclear meltdown. A disaster of immense proportions that is vehemently blamed on her parents, mostly her dad, who is head engineer and has a rocky reputation with alcohol. Emily has no choice but to disappear. She finds herself (shockingly) alone on the streets of a nearby city living the life of a runaway and calling herself Abby Bliss, a character from her favorite poet Emily Dickinson. Life on the street is harsher than Emily (Abby) could have ever imagined. As she struggles to overcome the grief of what her life has become and mourns all that is gone Emily (Abby) learns what she is really made of. The setting of this idyllic beautiful town being completely destroyed by a nuclear reactor and all the repercussions that will go on for these families for many years to come are both scary and realistic. This magnificent author brings us into the mind and hearts of these characters who are struggling to survive, to accept the future and yet remain hopeful. Like watching a train wreck, I could not put down this book and forced myself to face the tragedy with Emily that was unfolding before me. These characters will remain with me long after the final page.  Highly recommend for your next summer read!

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