I try not to get emotionally attached to books. I fail…99% of the time, but I do in fact try. Today’s book was especially difficult for me. But before I explain why, let me tell you HOW exactly it was that I came to read THIS book at THIS moment in my life.
It was a fluke.
Once I agree to review a book I put it (and all of it’s info) into a folder in my inbox titled “Reviews To Do” (Yes, I know…I’m a genius.) Anyways, every few days (or when my kindle gets a little low on books) I go to this folder and grab the first 5 books I find. I do not re-read the synopsis. I do not re-read my response to the author, or check out it’s Amazon page. In my mind…once I’ve agreed to review it, it’s fair game…I put it on my kindle and that is that. From there I just pick and choose.
This has never back-fired on me, until today.
Today I decided to read a book that had a puzzle on the front. I thought, in all of my “judge a book by it’s cover” wisdom that it would be a light interesting read. Two hours later I found myself curled up in the fetal position, (not a very pretty sight I might add) with a box of tissue cussing Heater Spiva and her evil (yet completely captivating) book.
So what is the book about?
I’ll let Heather tell ya.
“Twelve-year-old Marshall Thompson’s favorite place in the world is Luke’s Junk Store. With one last trip in before school begins, he’s intent on finding the perfect thing to take on the first day back. But his “great find” ends up being a girl — and a friendship begins that will change him forever.
Together, they share a love of puzzles and something else: sickness. With his asthma, and her in cancer recovery, they’re linked as kindred spirits. But when a life-changing event threatens their friendship, Marshall has to learn to pick up the pieces to his broken puzzle of life … and put them back together.”
Ok, so now that all of you have figured out why I was a total wreck while reading this book, we can move on and actually talk about the book. (For those of you that are clueless…go back and read my “Fate of KO” post.)
I could say a million things about the start of this book. “It was fascinating.” “I wanted to know what was so special about Luke’s that I just had to keep reading.” But all of those are pointless and completely elementary. Why? Because by the 20% mark this book is no longer about a hidden treasure or a little boy who hates his little sister. It’s about learning to appreciate life for what it is RIGHT NOW.
A VERY long time ago I read (and loved, and cried over) a book called “Bridge to Terabithia” (I’m sure most of you have heard of it…it actually won the Newbery Medal way back in 1978.) “The Puzzle Master” reminded me a lot of this book in the way the characters (to avoid reality) took flight through their imaginations and built a “life” inside the pictures of their puzzles. And…much like Bridge, this book took the most basic of human lessons, (like trust, love, responsibility and forgiveness) and told it in a truly magical (yet heart wrenching) way…through the eyes of slightly damaged, yet incredibly hopeful 12 year old boy.
The writing is simplistic, (there is absolutely no denying that) yet it’s simplicity is what makes it so beautiful. Sometime silence is stronger than dialogue and Spiva did a excellent job of showcasing that in Mash and Iris’ interactions. And though the plot was sad, it’s worth every freaking tear you’ll find racing down your cheeks by the end of it.
In short…I was completely engaged, completely engrossed, and thoroughly touched.
I LOVED this book, and think it would be a wonderful read for ALL ages!
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember:
“There were no goodbyes, because none was needed. Iris had always said that goodbye sounded sad and stupid, so they stopped saying it. Instead, it was “see you soon,” and “talk to you later.” No bye, no goodbye. And that was it.”
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