Ramen Noodles the staple of college students everywhere. After the age of 17 I refused to eat them. I haven't eaten them since. My college friends were baffled by my extreme dislike of ramen noodles. Tiffany King gets it though.
"I made sure to scoop up a dozen packages of Top O' Ramen soup for Kevin and me. At twenty cents a package, it was a cheap staple item for us. We didn't always have a means to cook them so we would crunch the package up, pour the seasoning mix into the bag of broken pieces and shake it up."
Yep, sometimes the water would get shut off. We would have to scoop water out of our swimming pool for two weeks to flush the toilet. Cruchy ramen and pb&j sanwhiches sure did taste mighty fine in those days.
Imagine going to high school having had to wash up in the sink because you couldn't shower in your shower due to roots collapsing the sewer line. Who has thousands of dollars to fix that? We sure didn't. I'm sure Katelyn's family wouldn't either.
Imagine losing your home at the age of 17 and bouncing from couch to couch for 6 months. I've lived that. That year I "moved" five times.
Oh yeah, being without things like a landline phone and electricty...yep that happened at least once or twice a year. I get it. I was "there" in this book. Being called names because your mom is so strung out to care about your feelings. Missing a final in high school because she couldn't get her life straightened out enough to wake up and take you to school. Being petrified to drive because your mom was constantly passing out at the wheel from exhaustion. Yep. Katelyn gets my life. And I get hers.
My parents were never physcially abusive. My mom wasn't even that much of verbal abuser. She wasn't around enough to do much damage. Those days are long behind my mom. Thankfully. I could not ask for a better grandma for my daughter. Or a better patner in life. Yes, my mom lives with me. I love her dearly. I am an adult. The past is the past. Does it still hurt to think about it? Yes. But she got better. Katelyn's mother, however, just kept digging her hole and continued to be a selfish mother. That's what mothers like this are. They are selfish. I know the love of a child. I know the joys and pains of being a mother. I would never abandon my child for my own needs. I know what it's like to feel unloved by your parents. It sucks. Big time. Now to the actual book review...kinda.
That was....intense. I mean it really intense. This is one of those books that tugs at your heart strings. It more than tugs at them. It rips your heart out and plays with it for a while then returns it with such beauty that makes you cry and laugh and sigh. It was above all else real. It was beautiful, raw novel that had me biting my nails. It had me crying and hoping and cringing. I could feel the build up of the final straw. I felt it. I knew it was coming. It still shocked me. I still bawled. I still cried happy tears. If only I could hand out this ending to every child that needs it. If only children didn't need to wait for their "someday soon". That would be fantastic.
The writing was flawless. Tiffany King puts the readers in Katelyn's life. We, the reader, are there with her. In her times of joy, and her times of pain. Katelyn, Kevin and Max all have real depth. They are real people. Lucinda is a real asshole too. I mean it. God, I wanted to smack that woman. Well, I wanted to do more than smack her but my private thoughts about her are best kept private. Let's just say that I would take a Countess Bathory approach of how I would treat child abusers (minus the rape/bathing in blood-which, is a myth, btw). I almost feel guilty about gushing about this book. It's just so raw, and gritty and emotional. I feel like I am glorifying Lucinda. I'm not I am praising the Katelyn's of the world. For surviving. For keeping their heads up. For protecting their loved ones and for moving on. Not everyone gets a happy and healed mommy like I did. Not everyone get's a someday soon. It breaks my heart. Never keep silent. No one, and I mean that, No one has the right to use physical or verbal hits against your person. To state institutions: Wake up. Keep families together. Hold your foster families to higher standards and, for heavens sake, stop cutting your employees. If this country was truly dedicated to providing equality and freedom for all then we would not cut our social services. People out there really need them. Not everyone on welfare is scamming the government like Lucinda. In my eyes there were absolutely NO FLAWS in this book. Absolutely none. It is a great book. I am so glad that Ms. King wrote it. I am so glad I took the time to dig through my kindle "pile" to read it.
Overall, Bravo to Ms. King for writing a novel that not only entertains but makes us think. That makes us all wish for someday soon.