Bethany Andrews's Reviews > Toni

Toni by Helen Leung
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Sep 01, 07

bookshelves: bookofthemomentreviews, fiction
Read in August, 2006

I read this book pretty much straight through in one sitting; I couldn't put it down. The story is about Toni, a young girl whose parents hate her because she was born a girl and not the boy they'd always dreamed of. One day her parents drop her off at her Uncle Steve's, saying they'll be back in a few weeks.

Four years later, Toni is discovered by a police officer, unconcious and bleeding in a closet in her Uncle Steve's home. Toni has spent the past four years attempting to stay out of her uncle's way, in fear of setting off his temper. The police officer, Matt McKay, takes Toni under his wing, and from there we watch her grow. Though the complications and abuse in her life don't stop here, we stay with her as she grows into a young, independent woman.

Though I did catch a few typos here and there (that's the English teacher in me) the book is written in a straightforward and simple manner which makes it that much easier to get sucked into. The story is realistic for the most part; in the feelings that Toni struggles with. From fear, to hate and guilt and everything in between.

Because of what I do for a living, this book hit really close to home with me. I will admit I found myself with tears in my eyes at more than one time through the story. This is another book I'm going to take to work with me and have the girls there read. Books like this one help them through a lot of their struggles; and I want to thank the author Helen Leung, both for giving abused children a voice, and for sharing this book with me.
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