Don’t miss out on The Impossible Knife of Memory

Laurie Halse Anderson is an author that is known for her books about real-life issues that teenagers face everyday. Anderson is infamous for writing the terrifying truth over topics such as rape, eating disorders, suicide and addiction.

In Anderson’s The Impossible Knife of Memory, she writes about the ripple effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. In the first chapter she introduces to us Hayley Kincain, one of the main characters. After five years of being home-schooled on the road with her truck-driver dad, a veteran tormented by grueling memories or the wars in Iraq, Hayley has found a home. However, instead of a fresh and smooth transition, she finds her first senior year in public school to be problematic and crummy.

Anderson goes on to show her very detailed style of writing by telling chapters form Andy’s, Hayley’s dad, point of view. She provides readers with a glimpse of the horrors that haunt him: Shock waves ripple through metal, glass and flesh. Bone crumbles. Skin explodes. Nerves snap. Brains slosh and spill in dented tim skulls. Arteries spray like high-pressure hoses, painting the world a bright, sad red.

Hayley eventually finds friends and even finds a boyfriend. When she becomes comfortable enough to share her problems with them, she discovers that they, too, have similar problems. Hayley’s only friend, Gracie, is dealing with her parents’ messy divorce and spends most of the time with her boyfriend. Hayley’s boyfriend, Finn, has a sister who is an addict and has put his family at risk of financial ruin.

The book has a lot going on, for sure. But it’s all about a teenage girl who wants what any teenage girl wants: stability and love. Instead she lives in a world where stability is never a sure thing. In the book Anderson reveals the hurts and conflicts that teenagers experience everyday. Her books force readers to think about real and horrid truths that most try to ignore.

I love the book because of how realistic it is. I think that every teenager should read at least one book by Anderson. She specializes in young adult literature. If a teenager is struggling in life her books will help them to see that they’re not alone. For teenagers that are not struggling, her books will teach them how to help ones that are and at the same time be grateful for having people around that make life easy.