Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter | Book Review

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

Reading Group: High School+

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Given Summary: The beautiful struggle of a girl desperate for the one relationship that has caused her the most pain

Cassie O'Malley has spent the past two and a half years in a mental institution--dumped there by her mother, against her will. Now, at 18, Cassie emancipates herself, determined to start over. She attends college, forms new friendships, and even attempts to start fresh with her mother. But before long, their unhealthy relationship threatens to pull Cassie under once again. As Cassie struggles to reclaim her life, childhood memories persist and confuse, and Cassie must consider whose version of history is real, and more important, whose life she must save.

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

Cover: The cover of this book has a girl hugging herself and it seems like she's either underwater or there is a picture of water overlaid on it.  I don't know why, but I think the girl on the cover looks a little bit like Taylor Swift.  

My Review: I almost don't know how to react to this book.  I thought it was a really interesting storyline and I really liked Cassie's character, but I absolutely loathed her mother and every time she was in the book I just wanted to move past it.  And I understand that she was supposed to be the villain in the story and she was almost incapable of loving Cassie, but she was just so annoying and I wanted to shake Cassie every time she talked to her.  I don't need every character to love each other in the books that I read, but I at least prefer if there is something close to an argument between them were everything gets hashed out and that didn't happen in this book.  Cassie just comes to the conclusion that her mother must have something mentally wrong with her and it wasn't worth trying anymore.  I guess I just don't understand how someone can treat her kids the way Cassie's mom did and it made me sad that even after everything Cassie still wanted her approval.  Also, one of Cassie's friends from the mental hospital ended up killing himself and I really want to know what happened.  He seemed to be one of those people who wanted nothing more than to get out and when he did it was clear something changed in him, but I wish I knew what happened that night he ran away.  Maybe Kletter is working on something now.  I thought this book was very well written and I liked that Cassie would remember new things from her past because I find it so interesting how our brains suppress certain memories in order to protect us.  This book made me frustrated, but I would definitely recommend it to a friend.  

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