Customer Reviews for

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

This is an amazing, poignant story that delves deep into the wor

This is an amazing, poignant story that delves deep into the world of teen homelessness. Emily Shepherd promises to tell the whole truth; she doesn’t sugarcoat it for readers, and she sometimes strays from the topic of hand, but the novel flows beautifully and I was ena...
This is an amazing, poignant story that delves deep into the world of teen homelessness. Emily Shepherd promises to tell the whole truth; she doesn’t sugarcoat it for readers, and she sometimes strays from the topic of hand, but the novel flows beautifully and I was enamored from the very beginning.

Life hasn’t been easy for Emily, and as the final remnants of her world fall apart with the meltdown of the nuclear power plant her parents run, disappearing becomes her only option. Scared of those around her and their reception of her family name, Emily takes on a different persona and hits the streets. This gritty depiction of her life as she recalls it isn’t overly graphic, but gets the point across just the same as it comes to drugs, stealing, shelter survival, lies, and meaningless sex.

I love Emily’s voice, and I’m in awe of Bohjalian’s ability to capture the essence of a teenaged girl as she hits rock bottom, attempts to care for a young runaway she meets on the street, and ultimately giving up. Where do you go when you have absolutely no one? As Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands unfolds, readers become one with Emily as she spirals down, reminiscing about her parents and her experiences along the way.

The title has a rather profound meaning that is explained near the very end—to close your eyes to the bad all around you and walk away from the bad, holding hands with another who will help keep you grounded, but in Emily’s case, there is no one to hold hands with, and as she stumbles blindly through life, ready for death, she becomes a resilient, strong young woman who beats the odds. Five stars.

posted by ABookVacation on July 8, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

 I wanted to read this one because it sounds like a combo of a t

 I wanted to read this one because it sounds like a combo of a type of dystopia/post-apocalytpic and the contemporary grittiness that I enjoy. Emily sounds like such a fighter and a fighter in order to survive not only a literal nuclear meltdown, but also losing both of...
 I wanted to read this one because it sounds like a combo of a type of dystopia/post-apocalytpic and the contemporary grittiness that I enjoy. Emily sounds like such a fighter and a fighter in order to survive not only a literal nuclear meltdown, but also losing both of her parents that same day. 




   The idea of homelessness hasn't been explored much in YA and I think that its an important topic too, and hopefully one that most readers would never face, but we also hope that readers don't have to experience the bad stuff of the contemporaries out there. Or the chilling government or earth/town ending things like aliens, meltdowns, power losses, etc. And while it scares me that things like this have happened and can happen again, I still can't stop being drawn to the genre. 




    The world building was believable. I just have to wonder what the actual fall out would be, if the impact would be larger, how we'd react in a similar real life situation. But I don't think that anything was stretched or out of the realm of possibility. On top of the hair-raising, hope to goodness never happens to me element of the story, I liked Emily. True to my prediction she was so strong, she had a will to keep surviving and to protect herself. She was easy to pull for even though I can imagine if it were real life I might be like the other kids and be wary of her because of her parents involvement with the plant. 




    The beginning did take a bit to get me in, but I liked the premise so I stuck with it, and I was rewarded for that. I think that the jumps in time were a little abrupt and it was pulling me out of the story. I understand that its giving a full picture of Emily's life and what happened before, during and after for her. 




    At times it did start to ramble and I would skim a little bit, but I always got pulled back in. It felt very literary and then other times just like a teenage girl talking to me. 




    Cameron was another highlight. He is a kid that she picked up along the way with her journeys, and they effected each other a lot and I saw growth and development with both of them. 
   




Bottom Line: Gritty and thorough account of a girl before and after a nuclear melt-through. 

posted by BlkosinerBookBlog on July 20, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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