Last weekend I had the good fortune of sitting down to read Alice Kuipers' new book, 40 THINGS I WANT TO TELL YOU. As you know, I already think Alice Kuipers is a remarkable human being (read my tribute to her here). But I can honestly say (without fear of being biased) that her latest book is a true work of art. Everyone, adults and youngs adults alike, should read her book. It's just that good.
Here is the synopsis from the book jacket:
"Amy (a.k.a. Bird) seems to have the perfect life: loving parents, a hot boyfriend, the best friend ever. She even writes an online advice column, full of Top Tips, to help other teens take control of their lives. But after a new guy shows up at school, Bird can’t seem to follow her own wisdom.
Pete is the consummate bad boy. He’s everything Bird is not: wild, unambitious and more than a little dangerous. Although she knows he’s trouble, Bird can’t stay away. And the more drawn she is to Pete, the more cracks are revealed in her relationship with Griffin, her doting boyfriend. Meanwhile, her parents’ marriage is also fracturing, possibly for good.
Bird is way out of her comfort zone. All it takes is one mistake, one momentary loss of control, for her entire future to be blown away . . ."
The book is amazing. The writing grabbed me right from the start. At one moment I was in my own world, the next I was in Bird's. I couldn't believe how immediately I connected with the character, how I felt watching her entire world fall apart around her. I felt as though I were reading the story of a close friend, not a made up character.
I think the reason Bird is such a compelling character is because she's so human. Who hasn't missed the warning signs? What hasn't had their expectations fall to pieces around them? Who hasn't, at some point or another, felt utterly alone? Bird is a character with such depth, such undeniable hope, it's impossible not to identify with her.
The story progresses beautifully, near impossible to put down the whole way through. (And I should know, despite having a full time job and countless other responsibilities I read it in 48 hours). It's a wonderful story, skillfully told and deeply moving. It's the kind of tale that sits with you, that teaches you something you never knew about yourself. Do yourself and your weekend a favour, go out and buy this book.