Customer Reviews for

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 22, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I have never been so hooked on a book before in my life. It's ha

    I have never been so hooked on a book before in my life. It's hard to put into words how I feel about it because it's just that good.
    Laurie Halse Anderson has a way with words and a way with capturing the audience. I found that it was so easy to relate to these characters, that they almost seemed like real people. You almost have to stop for a minute and remind yourself they're fictional. 
    The amount of romance in this book was perfect. It's not so over the top that someone who doesn't like romance novels would hate it (I'm not a fan of romance novels and I obviously loved this book). Yet there's enough of it for fans of romance to love it too.
    As someone who suffers from PTSD, I found that Laurie accurately conveyed what it's like with her words and through the main character. The effects of PTSD are so accurately portrayed here that if you don't suffer from it, you almost don't even have to wonder what it's like.

    Overall this was an extremely good read. Despite its length, I read it all in one sitting! 

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    O

    Wow this was a great book. I didn't buy it on my nook, but I read it somewhere else. I highly reccomend it.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This is a very well written novel by the ever talented Laurie Ha

    This is a very well written novel by the ever talented Laurie Halse-Anderson. Based on experiences from her own life, Halse-Anderson once again pens a poignant coming of age story ripe with love, loss, and self-exploration.

    Finally stationary long enough to attend a real high school, Hayley Kincaid hardly has time to focus on the trivial subjects set before her knowing her life at home could disintegrate at any time. Andy, her father, suffers immensely from PTSD brought on by his time in the War--having both good days and bad--causing Hayley to mold her life around his. It is a heartbreaking tale of triumph and misery, one that is beautifully told.

    Although I tad bit lengthy, this is an amazing look into the life of PTSD. It shows the difficulties that many suffer from once home from war, and it shows the havoc these difficulties can have on families, especially children. Hayley is an exceptionally strong female lead, held up by those who love her and her belief that her father may get better--though in her heart she knows that a good day is becoming more rare with each day that passes.

    Caught between shielding her father and taking care of herself, Hayley struggles, taking on burdens no child should have to deal with. Closed off and afraid to open up, she slowly begins to trust others, seeking the help needed in order to provide healing. It's a touching story that all should read.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    The true knife

    The wordsin this book just slice right through you in each chapter

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Laurie Halse Anderson has done it again. This woman just never f

    Laurie Halse Anderson has done it again. This woman just never fails to leave me speechless after finishing a book that she has written. Wintergirls being one of my favorite books I have read, The Impossible Knife of Memory is also making its way to my favorites list. It was interesting and different, for me at least, to see the main protagonist  actually be a typical teenager. Other than this book, I have only read Speak and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, both in which the characters voice is very... quiet? I'm not sure that's the right word, but they've never been full of sarcasm and all. Anyways, Hayley is the main protagonist in this book. Hayley has been moving from place to place with her father, and never settling in one place. When her father decides he wants to live back in his hometown, so that Hayley can attend school and have a normal life, things start to change. I obviously don't want to give out too much information, but let me tell you, this book will give you LOTS of feels! Hayley was such a wonderful character! She didn't really stand out to me at first, but as I got to know her better, I really started to love her! She is struggling with so much, and I can't even believe that she is able to handle all of that and is able to smile later on. Never having attended school before, it is a struggle for her. I liked seeing her friends, and Finn was a great addition to the book. It's a first to see a relationship in a Laurie Halse Anderson book for me, and I really enjoyed it. The dad! OH MY GOD! Sometimes, I literally felt like killing the dad. Hayley's dad is struggling with nightmares, and his time at war has had a major impact in him. It was heartbreaking to see how much it had affected him, and it was tougher to see Hayley deal with it. I have to admit, it got kind of boring in the middle. I still kept on reading though because it had a promising beginning. I am SO thankful that it ended with a BANG! The last hundred pages or so were just SO intense I could NOT put it down! I spend the last thirty minutes of New Year's Eve reading it and crying my eyes out! Then I knew, this had to be an all time favorite. Those last hundred pages just changed everything, and my love for the book just grew more and more. I definitely would recommend this book to all realistic fiction/contemporary readers! Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, fear no more, because this will NOT be a disappointment!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    Hayley and her father Andy have been on the road for the past fi

    Hayley and her father Andy have been on the road for the past five years. Sometimes riding in Andy's rig. Sometimes laying low while Andy tries to hold down a job and Hayley does her version of homeschooling. But then everything stopped and Hayley has been moved back into a life she doesn't want in a childhood home she refuses to remember.

    Being home gives Hayley a chance at a normal life with friends and maybe even a boyfriend. Unfortunately the more the Hayley lets down her guard and allows herself to imagine a future, instead of living day-to-day, the more obvious it is that Andy is still haunted by memories of all the demons and friends he left behind after his last tour over seas. With monstrous memories looming for both of them, Hayley begins to wonder if having a normal life is something she and her father are even capable of in The Impossible Knife of Memory (2014) by Laurie Halse Anderson.

    Hayley is an unreliable who lies both to the reader and herself as pieces of her past unfold in memories that cut like knives and unwanted visitors from her past. Slowly, with flashback-like memories from both Hayley and her father, the story of how they returned home unfolds. At the same time, Anderson manages to ground this book in the present with a fledgling romance and a grocery list of other problems that, in the hands of a less skilled writer, would feel trite as the perfect facades of Hayley's friends also fall apart.

    The Impossible Knife of Memory is an interesting book. But it's also an incredibly difficult read at times. My mother was very sick last year and it took a toll on both of us--so much so that, as I read this book, I saw much more of myself in Hayley than I would have liked. That said, Anderson's writing is excellent and returns here to the quality found in Speak with the same surprises and another fresh, surprising narrator. Although Andy is deeply troubled it was also nice to see a parental figure in a book with genuine affection for his daughter and interest in her well-being--even if it is mostly mired in the hardships that come with dealing with his own psychological traumas.

    On the outset The Impossible Knife of Memory sounds like an issue book with its focus on Hayley's father's PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Anderson, however, brings her usual skill to this topic offering a well-rounded story that encompasses more than this one timely topic. I probably won't re-read this book because of the personal slant that made it hard to read. I am actually painfully certain I don't even want a copy in the house. That said, The Impossible Knife of Memory is an important book that is never heavy-handed or obnoxious. Instead Anderson offers an honest, unflinching portrayal of one family's difficulties with PTSD as well as the promise of not just a way through but also even a chance at a happy ending.

    Possible Pairings: The Blue Girl by Charles De Lint, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee, Paper Towns by John Green, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2014

    I round this book to be just what I was looking for. It deals wi

    I round this book to be just what I was looking for. It deals with real struggles and has a realistic romance in it. The characters are well-developed and each deal with their own problems. I knew what PTSD, but had never read about it before. I thought this book dealt with issues out of the realm of the typical ones authors chose. Overall, a well-written book and a good read. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2014

    I Can't Even Express how Amazing This Book Was!!

    This book was so good! I cannot even express how much I loved this book. Just wow. Laurie Halse Anderson has written another amazing book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    best book ive ever read

    I never thought I would enjoy this book. it's definately a hard boom to read at times, but its so worth it. I recomend it to anybody.

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  • Posted June 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    3 of 5 stars Recommended for: veterans/children of veteran




    3 of 5 stars

    Recommended for: veterans/children of veterans

    Read from June 10 to 12, 2014, read count: 1


    I read this book in a day and half---love Finn. I did not like the way it ended. I want the characters, my friends, to live a happily ever after and it did not happen for them nor was there any glimpse that a happily ever after was in their futures---except for maybe Finn. I think that people must want a happily ever after, must want more for their lives than the hand that is sometimes dealt. Then, I began to think that maybe there are people who dream their lives could be better, but do not know how to grasp the rainbow, because their only "endeavor" in life is just making it through "today"---just today. The teens in this story are just trying to make it through today and perhaps make a river of the hand they have been dealt by their own family members who have not a clue how to get through the day and spy the future any better than they do. Life is what you make it. And I was disappointed with the ending to this book because I do no believe the characters learned that valuable truism.

    Everyone carries around their own monsters.----Richard Pryor-- But we must learn to live around them, in spite of them, and sometimes feeding the monsters that take control of our lives only worsens the situation.

    The title is certainly suitable---the impossible knife of memory is difficult to endure--but we must move on. We must make peace with our memories---thereby making peace with ourselves.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    To know that everyone starts out as a freak according to Hayley,

    To know that everyone starts out as a freak according to Hayley, gives me great comfort. To know that we are all on the same playing field, no one better than another, we are all equals in life just passing through different stages, all freaks.
    Looking through the eyes of Hayley Kincain, life is complicated. If Hayley only had one wish, she would wish to have her father back; her father before he was broken. Hayley sarcasm and honesty has landed her in detention enough her senior year that the authorities are keeping a close watch on her. With Gracie at her side, Hayley just wants to get through this year and graduate. While others are concerned about their plans after graduation, Hayley just wants to get through another day. Her father is reliving the war in his mind and without help, the war is winning. The battles that her father fights are constant although his duty has been served and his purple heart has been pinned honorably. The war is separating Hayley from her father as he hides behind his drinking, his depression, the mood swings, the blackouts and his denial. Wanting her father to get help, he refuses to seek assist blaming these people for causing his suffering. When some of his Army buddies arrive at the house, Hayley is afraid of the reaction her father might have considering his previous symptoms. There is a war going on everywhere you look, someone needs to get help before there are more causalities.
    The character of Hayley was played out so well. From her sarcastic tone to her ability to stand up for what she thought was right, she was a great. She had me laughing out loud with her attitude as she was such a strong force and was not afraid to be heard. Her father was a mess so she was left to pick up the pieces and she did a good job of doing that. The story was great and the message was terrific.
    “A nurse sent us to an Activity Room. Whoever named it that had a sick sense of humor. Of the dozen residents there, only one seemed to have a pulse, a lady in a faded flowered dress pushing a walker so slowly it was hard to tell what direction she was moving in.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2014

    This is an amazing book! I found myself completely wrapped insid

    This is an amazing book! I found myself completely wrapped inside this book through all the cold and warm situations. That may sound like a weird analogy or comparison but if you read this, you'll know what I mean. Laurie's writing style is unique and just plain perfect. I also love that she develops side characters so that they are not just apart of Hayley's life but that they have their own too. Besides the book being amazing, Laurie is quite the charmer herself. She's funny, open, and just very personable. I had the pleasure of meeting her through my school, and for all of you that think it's a little to old for 12 year olds. I think it depends on maturity because I am just a thirteen year old turning fourteen soon, and can NOT wait to read her other best sellers!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2014

    The impossible knife of memory is a poinet story of a father and

    The impossible knife of memory is a poinet story of a father and daughter struggling between fighting their fears or letting it control them. Author Laurie Hasle Anderson has once again artfully portrayed a true to life tale, this time about how PTSD affects more than just the sufferers. This book is one that will make the reader reflect on their own issues and challenge them to overcome challenges through support and perseverance. Aside from the predictable and underdeveloped ending, this novel is relatable and nail biting. It speaks for the still-silent among society and forces the audience to acknowledge the real and painful truths that are too dangerous to ignore.
    The main character Hayley, is very relatable to the book's target audience of young adults. She is a high school senior who has just entered a new school after spending years on the road with her father trying to outrun the memories that haunt them both. Hayley finds it extremely difficult to fit it in because she is behind in acedemics and socially akward. Hayley's battle to be accepted is something every teen experiences due to the pressure to belong in school.
    Hayley’s friends and teachers encourage her to think about her own future instead of just her fathers, but she still debates going to college; Hayley fears if she leaves home, her father will not be able to take care of himself. This situation is reminiscent of the same situation that high school seniors are confronting now. The daunting task of decide your future can put stress on anyone. As a senior reading the book, I could identify with the decision to leave my family and creating my own future but also with the anxiety that such an impactful chocie creates.
    Anderson ends a multitude of chapter with a cliff hanger thus rending the reader to say, " just one more chapter..." However, one more chapter quickly turns into ten chapters when reading this novel. Between Hayley's defensive and agressive attitude and Andy's drastic mood swings and past demons, the book makes readers want more thus leading to a interesting read. These chapter ending also are extremly resonating because they connect to the heart-wrenching emotions the characters experience. This mix of action with feeling result in a gripping page-turner.
    The conclusion to this novel was only a few pages that briefly told Andy and Hayley's future. However, it felt rushed and not as detailed as the rest of this amazing book. Anderson would have benefited from extending this last chapter to include more information about how the characters progress. The novel also had a sappy " happily ever after" ending. After all the anticipation that Andy would finally snap, the ending was both a disappointment and a relief. On one hand, a book with an unforeseen ending leaves the reader with with a shock value, the characters deserved peaceful closure wrapped up with a bow.
    I highly recomend The Impossible Knife of Memory to anyone who feels like they need hope or inspiration in their lives. Although be warned- it will make you cry. So grab a box of tissues, a comfortable chair and hunker down to enjoy the stunning and powerful book, The Impossible Knife of Memory.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Amazing Book!!!

    Laurie Halse Anderson outdid herself yet again!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    I havent read this yet and no one had ever put good coments belo

    I havent read this yet and no one had ever put good coments below so why wont i be the first ... right. SOO BUY APPLAUSE by Lady Gaga on itunes tonight or else you are no friend of mine

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2014

    Young adult novel

    This is a young adult novel that I chose to read because of the reviews it was getting on Publisher's Weekly. The books shows the destruction of a family whose father is suffering from PTSD.
    The book was just okay for me. I did not feel a connection to the characters and therefore, had no emotional reaction to the events.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2014

    A book that tackles a really tough subject on PTSD in a wonderfu

    A book that tackles a really tough subject on PTSD in a wonderful and touching way. Hayley's story will linger with you for days waiting for a moment when you need some inspiring ideas to think about. A fresh real life story that isn't afraid to bear the harsh things that really do happen in everyday life. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2014

    Another great read!

    Laurie Halse Anderson has done it again! She does a great job telling real life stories and this one doesn't fail. Highly recommend to anyone who wants "real life".

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2014

    Great great book looking at PTSD and its affect on survivors and

    Great great book looking at PTSD and its affect on survivors and their loved ones.
    Couldn't put it down.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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