Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin

I wasn't sure about reading this one. I loved the cover and the title, and I felt a keen engagement with the opening lines. But then, for just a few moments, I got lost, right when she was in the diner with her parents. I just felt like I kept missing important pieces-- which I obviously did as I reread the first chapter just now! When this Margaret character (who ends up becoming really important to me) shows up. I decide to stick with it. I actually told Alysa some fib about how I wasn't ready to read Insurgent yet because I was just not ready when the fact is that I HAD to figure out why I wanted to read this book that I usually would put down and something inside of me know what I mean. Next time I will tell her that I am stuck in a book that I totally don't understand. That ought to go over well. 

"...None of us are superheroes. These sadnesses that we have never fully go away. And sometimes they rear up, and if we're not careful, if we don't find ways to remind ourselves of what we know--who we know we can be--they make us forget what we've learned, and take us back to the dark place where we started. The place where every decision is a wrong one." (Page 333)

Every so often, this book offered me a little glimpse of how to get through some of the trials life always offers. I mean the deep and dark trials most of us face some time in our life. I think that is why I keep reading these young adult books that have some pretty gruesome story lines in them. I keep wanting to understand how we do it, how do we make it through these dark times. This fabulous, albeit dark, daunting, and important read is one of the most engrossing I have read in a long time.

Short hint at the storyline: Lida has some pretty painful losses she is carrying around inside. Her new high school is out in the beautiful sticks of some national forest--like place way out in the middle of nowhere called the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Because of some of her actions at home, her father and stepmother send her to this wilderness high school for troubled teen girls (yep, the ones where inevitably someone screws up and gets hurt in real life). Amidst some rather tough gals, Lida finds her way albeit in with a few surprises all the way to the end. If you like stories with tough girls figuring out how to survive in the rather surprising environment of "No Return," you just might like The Girls of No Return.

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