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Release Date: 5/8/2012
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About the Book: Fern is in middle school and she feels invisible. She's in the middle of her siblings, her family is busy running the family restaurant, and Fern feels like her family doesn't pay attention to her. Her sister Sarah is taking a gap year before college, her brother Holden is being bullied at school and trying to pretend that everyone doesn't know he's gay, and her youngest brother Charlie is the only one who ever seems to notice Fern. But Charlie can be so annoying and he's always demanding Fern's time and attention. When tragedy strikes the family, Fern feels even more alone and responsible and has to figure out how to help her family heal.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: When I first read this book, I did not like it. And I don't mean that in "I really hated this book and think it's terrible" way but instead in a "I am so mad at the emotional turmoil the author put me through while reading this book" way. This is a family story and it has a sad twist that you think is going one way and it goes completely another and it makes you an emotional wreck.
The more I thought about this book though, the more I appreciated what Jo Knowles wrote. This was a book I couldn't get out of my head. This is a beautiful, emotional look at family in the midst of unspeakable tragedy. It's not a book that is easy to read-there are pages and pages of grief and sad emotion, but it's realistic. It's exactly what real life would be like-there are no magical happy endings or families getting better immediately. This is pure raw emotional that reads exactly like a contemporary novel should-realistically and emotionally true. There are no easy answers in life and there are no easy answers in See You At Harry's which makes the book work so well.
Fern is a great character-she's smart, funny, and has a wonderful tween voice and I think tweens who are searching for where they fit in will relate to her. I also really loved Fern's best friend Ran-he compliments Fern's character in a nice way and I liked his advice to Fern throughout the book. I also liked the storyline with Holden. I felt that Holden's story about coming out was well done and touched on issues of sexuality and bullying in a real way and fit well with the rest of the story. I think what I liked most about this book was that it was a great family story-it's a quiet emotional story about a family that can't help but seem so real you feel as though you really know them.
See You At Harry's is a book to give your readers who want a sad a book-just make sure you give them a box of tissues to go along with it.
Book Pairings: Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LeFleur
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from personal copy