What They Always Tell Us
What They Always Tell Us is a very simple, quiet story told from the perspective of two brothers who live in Alabama. James is a high school senior. Even though he’s smart, has lots of friends, and is on the tennis team, the only thing he wants is to go to college and leave Alabama. Alex, a junior, is James’ younger brother. While he’s not as smart, athletic, or as popular as James, he has other qualities that James lacks – Alex is sensitive, ...more
This book is simple and stunning. As of May 2011, even after two years, it remains one of the best books I've ever read and m ...more
Sometimes we read books whose wicked plots and twists, while blatantly aimed to make us feel something, fail their purpose and sometimes, sometimes, we come across a quiet book which lead us to strong and real feelings.
What they always tell us is that kind of books, and that's why, even though I have issues I can't overtake, lowering my rating below 3 stars wouldn't be fair in my opinion. I mean, I ate it up for fuck sake! Indeed contrary to many readers, my main problem wasn't the pacing, beca ...more
You know when you’re younger (Or, OK, when you’re not so young if you’re anything like me) and you’re on a set of swings in your back garden? And I’m not talking about the swings in the park that are properly secured with cement or whatever they use. These are the ones your dad put up in the summer when he’d had a bit too much Carlsberg and he was drunk on burgers.
And, while you’re mid-swing, there’s th ...more
It is my third book in a row that I rated with 5 stars, and I am a bit confused of myself. But I don't think that I became less demanding, maybe I just LEARNED to filter books that appeal to me. Or maybe I have just a lucky hand to chose the right books for me.
Of course a story about two brothers, James and Alex, is the main story-line in this book, but it is in the first place a beautifully written wonderful story of growing up, discovering yourself, learning to come out of the cris ...more
Told in alternating chapters between 2 brothers (1 year apart) dealing with the attempted suicide of the younger brother. This book is NOT heavy han ...more
This story is WONDERFUL. It follows the life of two brothers:
Alex, the younger one, who feels alienated and lonely and different. His friends look at him as loser, after he drank a bottle of Pine-Sol at a party. And James, the ...more
I think what I loved most was that neither brother was a simple character but they each surprised me in how clearly well rounded they were. I think it is very hard to not to rely on high school stereotypes but ...more
As always, I will first discuss the characters. Alex was a sweetie, and I loved him. James, to be perfectly honest, was kind of a dick at first, but he went through a shit ton of character development and I grew to like him. I also really liked Nathen and Alice.
It's amazing that not much happens plot-wise and yet I was never bored. There's no exciting action or adventure, it's just a glimpse into the lives of some high school students trying to live and love. It' ...more
Alex is a quiet boy who shatters his family's complacent securit ...more
What They Always Tell Us is a wonderful, beautiful story about two brothers who were once very close, then drifted apart and slowly find their way to each other. The story is told in alternating chapters from each brother’s perspective and it follows both throughout this one year in their lives.
Alex is the youngest one, the quiet, solitary brother who’s been dealing with the repercussions of drinking Pine Sol one day at a party and ending up in hosp ...more
The book revolves around two brothers: Alex, who survived an attempted suicide some time before the beginning of the book and became a social outcast and his brother James, a popular senior who's guilty for not being there for Alex and at the same time disdaining him as a dork.
The true strength in t ...more
I absolutely loved this novel! It ...more
Okay, maybe that was a little ridiculous of me. But seriously, the plot-line is... Undramatic.
But I loved it. The smooth, quiet writing. The flawed characters and their struggles in growing up. This is a true coming of age novel.
Alex and James are two teenage brothers, both struggling to survive in the small town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Told in the third person, alternatin ...more
Being told from the viewpoint of both the younger and t ...more
I absolutely loved this novel! It ...more
Alex struggles to come back from depression and suicide attempt while being shunned by almost everybody.
James struggles with his own feelings of shock, anger, helplessness and fear because of ...more
Stunning in its sheer simplicity.
This is one man who understands-really UNDERSTANDS the life of a teenager.
No other author I'm aware of could have done it better. Martin Wilson manages to convey teen life, and not only conveys it, but also enhances the reader's comprehension of it.
I'm (luckily) still a teen myself, and I have never come across a book which has *nailed* a teenager's experience in this contradictory world so well.
Martin Wilson-I applaud you.
(Hopefully he's worki ...more
As I suspect everyone who reads my reviews knows, young adult books are my guilty ple ...more
We all have read stories about two siblings who at first get along and then quickly drift apart... with their outcome up to the author. WHAT THEY ALWAYS TELL US has that similar outline; however, Martin Wilson puts his own spin on it and creates a novel more real and even more original than anything else on the shelf currently.
We are introduced to two brothers. First there is James, the older brother who excels in all areas, fr ...more
I remembered my high school days reading this. But it's like seeing it in a different perspective, seeing the bigger picture. I thought of the countless moments of confusion, alienation, anger, frustration, bitterness, fear of the great unknown... multiplied to the nth hormonal level. Reflecting on it, I can see that many of us back then were fighting our own internal battles with each one of us trying to subdue it and keep it low key, thinking, "I must be a freak for feeling this."
I remember be...more
The plot moved forward at a nice steady pace, w ...more
He once was close to his brother James, but James doesn't understand why his brother has suddenly become social poison, and his anxiety manifests as anger. Their parents are clueless.
When a strange kid named Henry moves into the house across the street, his odd behavior (and even odder home life) give Alex something to focus on besides ...more
I was sad to see this book end because it didn't give me a true feeling of closure ...more
|My Story Book Club: Reading for 5/23-5/30||1||12||May 23, 2012 11:13AM|
|My Story Book Club: Reading for May 15-22||1||5||May 16, 2012 09:05PM|
|My Story Book Club: Chapters 1,2, and 3 Discussion Questions||1||7||May 07, 2012 07:50PM|
|My Story Book Club: Reading for May 8-15||1||4||May 07, 2012 07:47PM|