Clay's Reviews > Personal Effects

Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie
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Aug 14, 12

bookshelves: upper-middle-school-young-adult

I finished this one a few days ago and it's really stayed with me. 17YO Matt and his mean, controlling, embittered dad both live in the long shadow of Matt's brother T.J., killed in Iraq. Matt believes that if he can just get his hands on his brother's personal effects--the small sack that came with his remains and two footlockers--he can understand his older brother and puzzle out T.J.'s secretive past--no small task, as Matt's dad stands rigidly in his way at every turn. Tense, well-drawn father-son relationship, believable heroic quest, and superb characterizations in the reveal overcome a few flaws, particularly a more ordinary romantic subplot, one unnecessary character toward the end and an under-tightened text in places, but the whole is quite moving and powerful. Fine debut. Will look for more from this author. Recommended.

Thanks, Sara Carr @ Flyleaf books for recommending this and lending me this ARC.
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