When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.
Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks–and hopes–that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?
What I Thought:
As a general rule, I don’t usually read middle grade novels. But, I took one look at that gorgeous cover and I said, “Yes, please!!” The main plot point of this book is the tornado that tears up Ivy’s hometown, and carries away her family’s home right along with it. They are living as a family of six in a small little bed & breakfast for most of the book, which leads to a lot of the tension in the novel. I felt like this was a wonderful look at how it feels to have something so essential to you torn away from you at a young age. You almost feel as if a part of yourself has gone missing.
However, the meat of this book lies in Ivy herself, and all of the feelings she is trying to identify in herself. Ivy is an artist, and therefore sees the world through drawing and color. I really enjoyed how Ivy seemed to process her emotions and how she see’s herself and others in prima-color.
The other big plot point in the book is when her sketchbook is stolen, and the “keeper” of the sketchbook starts giving Ivy’s drawings of girls holding hands back to her one by one. She is terrified that “keeper” (who remains anonymous until the end) is going to spill her secret – that she might be attracted to girls. The scariest part of this is that she is not entirely sure of how she is feeling herself.
I really enjoy Ivy’s relationship with June, the girl who she develops a friendship with, as well as develops her first crush on. Ivy’s relationship with her family I also enjoyed, but through many, many tears. Ashley Herring Blake perfectly captures that feeling of being misunderstood and unwanted when you are a pre-teen. I cried big fat tears through a large portion of this book! It was marvelous! 🙂
I will leave you with two quotes from the book that I particularly loved:
“Maybe perfect was just another word for belonging. For feeling like yourself.”
“Wondering was how you found yourself.”
I absolutely adored this book, and gave it 5 STARS! Even though this is a middle grade novel, it is certainly appropriate for adults as well. I highly recommend it! Keep a box of tissues handy 😉 For reference, here is a picture of how much I enjoyed this book:
This book releases on March 6, 2018 – you can pre-order it here, or through the link listed below.
**I received this book as an ARC from the bookstore where I work, Barnes & Noble. **
Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!
Love and happy reading,