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The Way We Bared Our Souls

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  460 ratings  ·  96 reviews
If you could trade your biggest burden for someone else’s, would you do it?
 
Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives.
 
Lo has a family history of MS, and is starting to come down with all the symptoms.
Thomas, a former child soldier from Liberia, is p
...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 22nd 2015 by Razorbill
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3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  460 ratings  ·  96 reviews


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Renata
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Meh. I thought it'll be amazing but it turned out sooo boring.
Alyssa
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 22, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher (unsolicited)

Summary (from Goodreads):

If you could trade your biggest burden for someone else’s, would you do it?

Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives.

Lo has a family history of M
...more
Cait • A Page with a View
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary-ya
"And then I was dancing. Something in the air - maybe smoke, maybe gold - compelled me to move. There, in the desert, in the daylight, all by myself, with no music, I danced. So Kaya's spirit would find peace, I danced. So we would all be kinder, more accepting of our differences, and of our own faults, I danced. So we would not just destroy each other, but instead open our eyes to the miracle of being alive, of being so similar, even in our suffering, I danced. The smoke and the fire and the b
...more
Chelsey
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I picked this up after reading a review that described it like this: a group of friends gather around a campfire to share their secrets and troubles - a drug addict, two girls with chronic illness, boys who are grieving. And I thought - hey! A YA about emotions and experiences and friendship, sounds great.

Yeah. The thing is, a description like that leaves out the huge problem with this book: it's staggeringly racist, in a "well, my black friend said it was okay," kind of way. These five friends
...more
jasmine
read a brand new review + q&a with the author on booky berries!

i remembered something else kaya had said in people: "sometimes i don’t really consider my condition the absence of pain. i consider it the presence of something else. something magic."

where do i even start with this book? i spent months drooling over it after i saw the blurb and cover, and i had to have it the very second it was available. i loved (almost) everything: the setting, the characters, the friendships, the parental
...more
Daniella (Reading With Daniella)
The second I saw this cover, I knew I needed to have this book! It was just so beautiful. And when I read the synopsis, I knew that I REALLY NEEDED to read the book! The story sounded absolutely incredible, but after completing the book, I'm sorry to say that I'm a little disappointed. It had so much potential, but it fell short.
I didn't hate it, but it wasn't great.

First of all, the first chapter of the book takes place near the end of the story line. I found this to be rather confusing and it
...more
Becky
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
The premise is interesting. The character development is lacking. It builds up to a psychologically thrilling point and the concludes like an episode of Full House.
Abby
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. The premise of this book involves five teenagers each with a different suffering. Consuelo "Lo", our main character, has multiple sclerosis and when offered a way to get rid of it, jumps at the chance. But the catch is that each person will switch problems with another. Suddenly they realize that their problems are their own and shouldn't belong to another. I loved the way this was presented and really invested in the characters.
Laura (Booksforbreakfast)
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Have you ever finished a book and had a headache from the intensity? Well I just did! It was definitely one of those mind…blown moments.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started the novel and to be honest the beginning was a little slow for me. I thought about putting the book down and starting something else, but I decided to trek through and I’m very happy I did.

I really enjoyed the story idea and how it was executed was really well done. I loved Lo, I also loved that it was only in h
...more
Bobbie
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book in the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I read the first few chapters to see if it would be appropriate to give to my son. They were very well written and engrossing. I think he will really enjoy reading this book.
Julie
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wow deep and so much better than I thought it would be :)
Ashleigh
The Way We Bared Our Souls follows Lo, a girl living in New Mexico, who believes she has the onset of MS, a condition that her aunt passed away from a few months prior. She's been experiencing the early symptoms of it, but is terrified of facing the truth, so has been hiding her pain from everyone around her. After a mysterious meeting with a Native American man, Jay, and his pet coyote, Dakota, she agrees to take part in a ceremony involving some 'magic', that she hopes will take away her pai ...more
Wren
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
22529157

Amazon / Goodreads

If you could trade your biggest burden for someone else’s, would you do it?

Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives.

Lo has a family history of MS, and is starting to come down with all the symptoms.
Thomas, a former child soldier from Liberia, is plagued by traumatic memories of his war-torn past.
Kaya would do anything to feel physical pain, but a ra
...more
Emily
I cannot help it; I have grown achingly, increasingly bored with basic YA storylines. You know the drill. A girl trapped in a dystopian society realizes she is different and overtakes the government with the help of a capital-R Resistance. Meanwhile, a girl in our world meets an enigmatic bad boy whose secrets threaten to tear her apart. I have read so much YA that these tropes fail to impress me, even when executed well.

That is why I am so drawn to unique concepts in fiction—I am so much more i
...more
Hannah Evelyn
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn takes us through themes relevant to what adolescents face and highlights important issues in society in a interesting, clever, and unique way. Specifically, it expresses that to be comfortable with who you are, you must first realize you cannot be anyone else and your soul is stronger than your burdens. The book, published by Razorbill in 2015, is 228 pages and is in the contemporary/YA genre.
As the book opens, readers learn about Lo, a teen who str
...more
Trista
It all started with Lo, who was told about an ancient ritual that could relieve her burden and the burdens of four others. Lo, who's aunt died of MS and is starting to show symptoms. She recruits Kit, who's afraid of death even since his girlfriend died; Kaya, who can't feel pain due to her CIP; Thomas, an orphan and former child soldier plagued by memories; and Ellen, too lost in her haze of drugs to feel anything real. It doesn't seem like the ritual works, until the next morning when they eac ...more
Riley
Jan 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Only got about 40 pages in, and probably wouldn't have pushed myself that far if it weren't for this being a book club pick. Basically the writing wasn't strong enough for my taste. And while I don't doubt that the author must have done some research for her premise and her characters, the use of various cultures didn't seem expertly done (i.e., not sensitive or well-employed).

Other thoughts:
- The first chapter is confusing and unnecessary. Could have just started at Chapter 2.
- Given the premi
...more
Erica Sonzogni
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Cobb
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
it was a toss up between 3.5 and 4 stars but the in end the lack of cohesiveness got to me. another 50 pages giving more depth to EVERYONE'S burdens and better fleshing of the big climax mountain scene would have made for a great read. but still I did enjoy a lot! its less than 300 pages and its a quick read so I do think its worth reading and think a lot of people will enjoy!
Luke Reynolds
Disappointed with this book. The romance was cute, and I'm glad it wasn't the main focus of the book. But the dialogue writing got annoying (said was used way too much), and it got cheesy at times. The book also felt fast in some parts, and the "beautiful experiences" were really just regular things.
Willa
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
what even was this book
Cait
I didn't love how this ended up being, but it was different to other books I've read, which is a huge positive, so.
Izzy
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, rounded up

full review to come!
Amber
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This was just okay. I am leaning more towards it being a 2.5 or 2.75.

Right away I decided I didn't love the writing style BUT there are several beautiful passages and some amazing imagery.

I love the concept of this book. Interesting and sad chronic illnesses and tragic events haunting these people's lives and getting to see what happens when you switch burdens for a week sounds super cool. I just don't think it was done very well. I started to see in other reviews that native Americans were no
...more
Kayla Jones
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Oh man...what do I say about this book? I bought this a couple months ago from BookOutlet and I was very excited to start it. The synopsis sounds fascinating and unique; like something I've never read before, and it is. I have to give props to Strayhorn for the overall uniqueness of her book. That's about all I can commend though.

This had the potential to be so freaking good. Unfortunately, it was poorly written. The characters are poorly designed and it does more telling than showing. Each of
...more
Rachel W
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great concept, beautiful execution. I would have liked it more if there wasn't a romance subplot.
Kaitlyn Fiegl
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book changed me i think that this book was the best book ever im in love with all the characters and just saying i also cried at the end i cant lie ...more
Katie
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a little bit angry with this book right now.
Don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean I disliked it, obviously, I did (4 stars), but it made a few years trickle down my face. In all fairness, I actually appreciate that depth of emotion...much more than I appreciate the cliche love story. I am so anti-love story. Also, I really wish the ending had been messier. Leave some questions unanswered. Give me more to ponder. Aside from those gripes it was great. It made me really think about my own burde
...more
Barb Lie
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn is a YA novel with a very unique concept. When I read the description, I thought to myself, this is different, and it really interested me. What would you think about 5 troubled teenagers, with various issues physically, mentally, or on drugs that find themselves in the midst of a healing ritual that will have them unknowingly switch their burdens with someone else within the 5.

In the beginning of The Way We Bared Our Souls, we meet our heroine of th
...more
Alejandro
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: hobooken-picks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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