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Alone Together: A Novel

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Sadie Carter’s life is a mess, as wavy and tangled as her unruly hair. At 15, she is barely surviving the chaos of her large Catholic family. When one sister becomes pregnant and another is thrown out, her unemployed dad hides his depression, and her mom hides a secret. Sadie, the peacekeeper and rule-follower, has had enough. The empty refrigerator, years of hand-me-downs ...more
ebook, 210 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Seela Books
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David Schaafsma
12/5/18: Just reread for my Fall 2018 YA class, which the author was gracious enough to visit!

4/7/18: Original review, edited a little:
Sarah Donovan is a former student of mine, a middle school English teacher, and university teacher educator, with a pretty influential blog, Ethical ELA, based in part on her own teaching. She's also a good friend. Last fall she made the time to write a middle school level verse novel about growing up in a big family. I am not likely going to be all that "objecti
Alone together is written in verse giving the story a unique style. The book is broken up into individual headings but follows perfectly.

Sadie Carter is one of many. She has so many brothers and sisters it's hard to keep up. In fact, the author numbers them instead of giving their names up front. Her family are strict catholic's and Sadie has to watch how her parent's views affect the dynamics of the family. It's complete chaos and the chance of having something of her own is slim. Her clothes a
Alone Together was just an okay read for me. I've read a lot of novels in verse and a lot of YA novels and I really didn't think this book added anything new to either genre. It's another book about a teenage girl trying to find her place in the world. I didn't think it was too bad for a debut novel. Would I read it again? Probably not. But I wouldn't be afraid to read other books by Sarah J. Donovan in the future.
Fizah(Books tales by me)
It is debut book of Sarah J.Donovan, so she was new for me. As I started the book I hooked right away. 

I haven't read any book which is written in verses, it was uniquely beautiful, It is exceptional how Sarah weave all these complex characters and describe them beautifully using few words compare to others.

Sadie Carter,15  is from a complicated and large family, she is 9th in 11 children. Everyone is different and strange from other, Father doesn't work so everyone has to work for their expense
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love about this book is how unique Sadie is, and yet, we can all identify with her. Whether it's her love of all-things-reading, her feeling of quirkiness as a teen, or her inability to identify with most members of her larger-than-large Catholic family, there's a little bit of Sadie for everyone.

Her quest to find herself in her own space, in addition to this complex world, is both raw and real. Sadie is a teen like any other in an extremely complicated family...yet they show love in the
Sophia Sarigianides
I loved the voice of this novel, falling hard for Sadie and her role in a big family that she both loves and feels burdened by. I read the book in one take, not wanting to put it down until I knew how Sadie would turn out.

Reading as a teacher educator who prepares middle and high school teachers to rethink their views of adolescence (through a Youth Lens), I was especially interested in the ways that the book offers a beautiful look at classed adolescence. In other words, Sadie could be seen as
I received a free ARC of this book as part of the book launch team. I am not being paid for my review.

One of the reasons I wanted to be apart of this book launch so badly was because of my position as a middle school English teacher. I am constantly looking for books that will speak to my students and get them to love reading. My whole curriculum is based around getting kids to choose their own books and to be constantly reading throughout the whole year. I know that the Sarah J. Donovan has a s
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was hooked from the first line. The characters, their personalities and perspectives are complex and nuanced in interesting ways. There are no stereotypes or clearly delineated boxes here. Sadie, her family, and her friends are some of the "realest" characters I've encountered. Donovan invites and encourages readers to connect to and learn with Sadie as she navigates the joys and difficulties of finding oneself in a large family and world. Haunting, hopeful, and written in beautiful verse, the ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honest and forlorn insight into the childhood of a young girl practically raising herself in a home full of children who feel like “numbers” rather than precious souls.
Cristi Julsrud
Loved this book. I see so much of myself in the main character. I had some unanswered questions at the end of the book, but I kinda think that was the point. Sadie doesn't have it all figured out, but she's starting to understand herself better. Sarah's writing is lovely, and the melancholy of the beginning of the booked segued nicely into the hopefulness of the ending. A great debut!
Kristin Pitts
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many soft spots, unexpected connections. Sadie has a way of finding herself that is empowering.
The literary references make this book smart. The large family makes it real. The range of issues make it diverse and equal. The verse makes Alone Together accessible.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I connected with Sadie right away as she worked to figure out who she is as herself and as a sister. My seventh graders will love it.
Michelle Mohr
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was so drawn into the family dynamic. It made me sad, hopeful, and angry, all at the same time, and I ached for Sadie throughout so many pages. I was definitely captivated by the story. My favorite part was the usage of numbers along with names for the children. I truly believe that helped the author authentically show what was missing from their lives.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was hooked from the "Dedication", and I didn't stop reading until I had finished the entire book. That the story is told in verse adds so much depth to the characters and affords the reader a unique perspective into life as a lonely, teenaged girl. I was rooting for Sadie to find what she had been missing, what she had deserved.
Sue Weinstein
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book, a quick read, full of compelling characters and concepts. I read this with the students in my YA Literature class at LSU. Many had never read a verse novel before, but they loved this because, as one student said, it's just very well done.
Kim Johnson
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this verse novel about the challenges and triumphs of family! Sarah reaches into the raw wounds and feelings - disappointments and successes- and shows us that there is a life to be lived - and asks us what we will do with our one wild and precious life!
Tara Schaafsma
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I really enjoy books done in poetry. The struggles in a very large family, with disconnected parents.
Julie Wawers
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books
This was a lovely, moving quick read that is written in verse. I will be recommending it to many students!
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I myself have a big family so it was really interesting to read this book. It was sad at times and other times my heart would swell because of all the adorable things. An amazing and unique book.
Rumsha A • Storiesandplottwists
Sarah J. Donovan's debut novel is absolutely dazzling. Alone together is penned in verse form, and it's ravishing that either type of people can enjoy it ; those who love prose, those who breath poetry. This is a fantastic book, which keeps you indulged in it.

She explains Sadie's story exquisitely. Bringing attention to what it's like to be a member of a huge family, where eggs and toast and pies are considered a luxury.

Mom never joins us at the table.
I wonder if does not want to eat with us.
I w
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by the blurb of this story as far as the plot, but then knowing it was written in verse made it even more interesting. It really was a great way to get a deeper look into Sadie's pain and isolation. Her fractured bursts reflect her fractured emotions and thoughts as she tries to figure out who she is and her place in this family and in this world.

Being part of such a large family has got to be difficult. There were only two of us, so I can't even begin to imagine what it would b
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although it’s a quick read, Alone Together addresses topics that encourage us to take the time to reflect on. Depression, abandonment, poverty, and LGBT+ are a few of the larger ideas that the main character, Sadie encounters. Told in verse, Sadie shares her experience of being number nine of eleven siblings in a household that is continuing to ask more from her over the course of her sophomore year of high school. The first poem, “Getting Arrested,” shows how much Sadie strives for a sense of n ...more
Austin Hall
I had the pleasure of attending one of Sarah's sessions at nErDcampMI this summer. That led to getting to meet her and have some really interesting conversations with her about teaching. I'm so glad that I read Alone Together before the school year officially starts in a few days. There is so much to like about this debut novel written in verse. Sadie Carter's experiences in navigating high school, personal mistakes, family issues, and teenage romance are ones that will speak to many readers. Th ...more
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel-in-verse
A beautiful, touching novel-in-verse told from Sadie, a 15-year old in a chaotic Catholic family of eleven children. Told in verse to represent Sadie's "fragmented thinking," the stream-of-conscious narration feels like peeking into Sadie's head.

Sadie's family is chaos. One sister becomes pregnant and disowned, her unemployed father becomes increasingly depressed and hostile, and her mother is clearly hiding something. Sadie is a peace-keeper and tries to follow all the rules, but she struggles
Jean Clough
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an achingly tender tale of a young woman who is searching for her most authentic self. In a huge family where she is the rule keeper, she longs for an uninterrupted shower and a Poptart of her own.

Every carefully chosen word in these verses reveals that Sadie is willing to expose herself. She fails. She makes bad choices. She discovers what she needs to thrive. She learns how to be a friend, a sister, a daughter and a citizen in the larger world.

You will fall in love a little bit with
I've never read a book written in verse before, and I honestly didn't realize this one was written that way, but I was pleasantly surprised that I started to enjoy the story after a few verses.

Sadie has a large Catholic family, who are very strict yet you come to realize that they are really hypocrites. She feels alone, even having so many siblings, and wonders a lot why her parents had so many children - the answer may surprise.

I thought this was a good book. If you enjoy books written in vers
Sarah Krajewski
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadie is a 15-year-old girl who is struggling to hold it together. She is part of a very large, dysfunctional family, and sees herself as invisible. Her parents have some major issues of their own to deal with, and they hide behind their religion instead of working through problems as a family. As a result, Sadie begins to rebel. Though she may not realize it, her behavior begins to change the more she struggles to keep up with all the family drama.

Congrats to Sarah Donovan on a great debut! My
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Sarah J. Donovan for providing me with this e-arc.

I have to say, I do love a book written in verse. This defiantly ups the standards of character development in a verse written book though. The whole premise of this book was very unique. The relationships in this are crazy but all intertwine, especially with all of the siblings, which are all numbered and I think that was a super good idea on the author's part because it would be too hard to remember the names of everyone. I would r
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the opportunity to meet the author at a YA Literature conference, and I purchased this book there. First of all, the novel is written in verse so it's a pretty quick read, and her voice definitely comes through in the writing. If you come from a large, poor, and/or dysfunctional family, and have ever felt lost in a sense in that number, this book is very relatable. On the other hand, if you've been a teenager and struggled with peers, boys, siblings, parents, etc., there's something here f ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this arc in exchange for an honest review.

If you don’t fall in love with Sadie you have no heart. Showing the struggles of growing up in a large family and at the same time having to grow up a little too quickly, Sadie is all fight. Where all her own goals and ambitions are put on the back burner Sadie is still optimistic and knows she wants more, love, a life and her own future not dictated by the needs of her other siblings or even her parents.

I loved this.
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Sarah J. Donovan, Ph.D., is a a former junior high language arts teacher of fifteen years and an Assistant Professor of Secondary English Education at Oklahoma State University. She is a co-editor for the online journal Writers Who Care. She wrote Genocide Literature in Middle and Secondary Classrooms (2016) and the young adult novel, Alone Together (2018). She is a co-editor of an online journal, ...more

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