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The Way It Is

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3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  178 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
To Ellen Manery, a brilliant, introverted, socially isolated fifteen-year-old, there is nothing good about the summer of 1967, especially when her parents decide to move to a small town in the interior of British Columbia. All the big ideas of the 1960s--the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution, women's rights--have not had much of an effect on this small community ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published October 15th 2010 by Second Story Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Allison (The Allure of Books)
Doesn't the summary of this book sound awesome? I sure thought it did. I was beyond excited to pick this book up - I was so sure I'd love it.

Well, I'm not sure what the best way to say this is without being mean...but I really wish those characters and that plot had awoken in the head of a more seasoned writer. I feel like the way the story was handled absolutely ruined it. As engaging as it should have been...I never felt connected to anything. I really wanted to be! It just seems like the char
...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Ellen Manery is a brilliant, science nerd who's most comfortable with her books and in the lab, not socializing with other kids her age. "Socially isolated," her teachers call her on her permanent school records. It's 1967, and when her parents decide to give up the rat race and move from Vancouver to Salmon Arm, where they have bought a resort on a lake in the middle of nowhere, she's convinced they've ruined her life. Sure enough, when she starts her senior year at the local high school, nothi ...more
Amber
Dec 20, 2010 Amber added it
Shelves: never-finished
'm not really the type of person who lives history, but there are some major events and eras that I do enjoy reading about and learning about. One of them is the sixties (a lot of it is for the music but that's totally besides the point.) When I saw this book was set in that era, I thought it would be up my alley.

I was wrong.

Ellen was a bit whiny and flat for me.. I'm sure if I ventured more into the story there probably would have been character growth, but I found myself skimming more and more
...more
Erin (Bookish in a Box)
Oct 21, 2010 Erin (Bookish in a Box) rated it really liked it
The Way It Is is a 1960s historical novel that doesn't feel stuck in the past; the message is as applicable today as it was 50 years ago. The main character, Ellen Manery, has been raised by her parents to buck the norm and be all that she can be, but when her family moves to a small town, the prejudices of the people there begin to infect her own family. In fighting back against small town minds, she discovers that it's okay not to be invisible.

Ellen is a great role model, even for girls of tod
...more
Jackie
Ellen, a brilliant 15 year-old, about to turn 16, is focused and determined to reach her dream of being a medical research doctor. She has been taking accelerated courses in Vancouver... when all at once her world is rocked. Her parents inform her that they are moving to a resort town near an Indian reserve. Ellen is mortified and beside herself that she is leaving the school where her intellect and studies flourish.

Once there, however, she meets and befriends Tony, an Indian who is a loner lik
...more
Liz
Dec 30, 2010 Liz rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star, young-adult
Based on the summary, this book sounds completely thought-provoking, interesting and engaging, correct? Honestly, I found the aspects of this novel surrounding racism extremely well done. I wanted to like this novel, but something about it was just very “meh” for me.

At the start of the novel, Ellen is a character whose life revolves entirely around getting the best grades possible. She doesn’t have a lot of friends, and doesn’t make an effort to change that fact. Eventually, Ellen had a characte
...more
Sarah
Man, Ellen could be whiny, and the way she treat her parents really got on my nerves, but I can't completely discount this book as drivel. That wouldn't be fair at all. The way it dealt with feminism and racism was subtle, but it hit me hard. I didn't completely buy how naive Ellen was about relationships; then again, I like to think that people are born with at least a modicum of empathy in their systems. It got pretty romance novel-like towards the end, and I actually liked the pace of Tony an ...more
Stacey
Dec 17, 2011 Stacey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone,
Shelves: young-adult
I love books about Canada, and this one fit the bill. It's set in the 60's which I love as well. It's what I loved about The Gathering, it's set in BC and it makes me want to visit these places. This book was so well written, I laughed out loud at some parts, and gasped in awe at others. Hardly any books make me do that lately. Loved it, glad I had the chance to read it. Though I do wish there was a sequel, just so I could find out what happens the next summer when Tony and Ellen are home again. ...more
Sasquatch
Aug 13, 2015 Sasquatch rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, young-adult
3.5 stars.
I really enjoyed this book. It was set in the 60s but was very easy to connect with for today's teens. I really liked the idea of someone finding out how bad racism towards native americans in Canada has been since that discrimination is often hidden away. I also liked seeing the main character develop as a person and overcome her shyness.

It sends a powerful message about overcomning adversity and accepting others. I wish parts of it had been shorter; it did tend to drag on at some poi
...more
Nicole
Jul 21, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for books with a strong sense of place, especially if it's a place I'm familiar with, and I liked this book a lot for that aspect at least. I'm not old enough to vouch for the accuracy of the historical information, but it rings true to me from what I know about the community.

This is less true for the characters, unfortunately, although Ellen's isolation and insecurities were described well enough to be very convincing. The themes were perhaps handled a bit clumsily, but I can't fa
...more
mehek
Sep 07, 2016 mehek rated it it was amazing
i thought it was wonderful but i didnt want her to leave in the end they both deserved to stay with each other but i liked the concept of an indian guy liking a white girl it was racist but good. i like the way the author has talked about the confliction at that point of time using romance as the key to show love and anger throughout the book. overall it was a good read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the book was and epic love story toooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Im-Bord
Mar 09, 2014 Im-Bord rated it really liked it
I don't care what anyone else has to say, I loved this book and it is one of my favorites and has taught me so much in terms of what others think of me and how they can judge and how that should never stop you from accomplishing your dreams.
Jackie
Jul 18, 2016 Jackie marked it as dnf
The book description, focusing on racism in 1960s Canada, made me eager to read this, but the very flat, distancing writing style made it impossible to get drawn in. Couldn't push myself to read more than 100 pages, alas.
Golden Secondary School
Sep 30, 2014 Golden Secondary School rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The language and flow of this novel is somewhat stilted at times, however, the subject matter and how the characters deal with the complexities of prejudice and friendship make it a worthwhile read. Set in small town BC, GSS students could find it relatable.
Ilaria Tomasini
Jan 22, 2015 Ilaria Tomasini rated it really liked it
Dreams can become true if you really want them to. A nice novel about emargination and hope.
I love the setting of it and I wish I could visit the resort :)
Stacey Mclaren
I really enjoyed this Forest of Reading book. It reminded me of a Canadian version of To Kill a Mocking Bird.
Jessie
Mar 06, 2012 Jessie rated it did not like it
I literally can not stand this book! I have no idea why it looked good on the back and it started of horrible and it kept getting worse and worse, the damn chick kept putting her foot in her mouth.
Gricel
Oct 30, 2010 Gricel rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
A great coming-of-age story set in 1960s Canada that raises issues of race, feminism, family, and young love.

Read my complete review at things she read
Simran
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Mar 12, 2012
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Jun 27, 2015
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Zainab Nasser
Zainab Nasser rated it it was ok
Jan 10, 2014
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Today, I’m a retired elementary school teacher and Principal with ancient degrees from The University of British Columbia - Bachelor of Education (Elementary), and Simon Fraser University – Master of Education (Administration). English and Fine Arts, my two academic majors, continue to be my focus.
I spent my teen years and began teaching at twenty in Salmon Arm, the small rural community in the i
...more
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