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All the Impossible Things

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A middle-grade novel about a young girl navigating the foster care system in search of where she belongs.

Red’s inexplicable power over the wind comes from her mother. Whenever Ruby “Red” Byrd is scared or angry, the wind picks up. And being placed in foster care, moving from family to family, tends to keep her skies stormy. Red knows she has to learn to control it, but can’t figure out how.

This time, the wind blows Red into the home of the Grooves, a quirky couple who run a petting zoo, complete with a dancing donkey and a giant tortoise. With their own curious gifts, Celine and Jackson Groove seem to fit like a puzzle piece into Red’s heart.

But just when Red starts to settle into her new life, a fresh storm rolls in, one she knows all too well: her mother. For so long, Red has longed to have her mom back in her life, and she’s quickly swept up in the vortex of her mother’s chaos. Now Red must discover the possible in the impossible if she wants to overcome her own tornadoes and find the family she needs.

384 pages, Hardcover

First published September 3, 2019

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About the author

Lindsay Lackey

6 books111 followers
Lindsay Lackey has trained as an opera singer, worked in children’s and teen services at the public library, and for a major publishing house in publicity and marketing. Born and raised in Colorado, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their spoiled dog. All the Impossible Things is her debut novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 400 reviews
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
692 reviews3,241 followers
October 14, 2019
Many books falsely present themselves as a good fit for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish, but All the Impossible Things is the real deal. Meaning, if you’re looking for a book to tear your heart from your chest, rend it through storm winds, and return it battered and bruised, then this is the book for you.

A tearful, heartfelt, hope-filled tale of an eleven-year-old girl navigating the foster care system in search of a place to call home. Lackey’s soaring debut reminds us that family can be found in surprising places and love can achieve the impossible.
September 1, 2019
“When darkness closes in, though, the stars shine brightest.”

I received an ARC of All the Impossible Things at BookExpo, this in no way impacts my review. However, my review is based on an unfinished and uncorrected copy, please note that the story and quotes may differ from the final book.

The tenth and last book of my '10 books in 3 weeks' project

4.2 stars

Ruby “Red” Byrd is eleven-year-old and yet at her young age, she has already dealt with more than most adults. Born to a teenage single mother who developed an addiction to prescription pills, she was raised by her grandmother Gamma for the few first years of her life. Gamma is a sunshine ray of hope and smiles, she teaches Red that things often look impossible until they are made, for instance, ‘going to the moon’ seemed fantasy until someone went. Together they keep a diary with all those not-so-impossible actions, and it gives Red hope every time she thinks she is not capable of something. This is when Gamma is diagnosed with cancer and then dies after months of treatments.
“Knowing the difference between hard and impossible is important. Lots of things in life are hard. But nothing is impossible.”

Red returns with her mother for a while, but she soon starts spiralling and is arrested for drug possession and is sent to prison. Without any family member left to take care of her, she has spent the last three years in the foster care system, moving from family to family, from school to school, and it hasn’t always been pretty. Her caseworker is trying to do her best to find Red the best-suited family, but every time things go wrong. Red knows that the lack of stability is because of from her wind, a gift she inherited from her mother. Whenever her emotions get wild, especially when she feels threatened or angry it impacts the wind, which starts blowing. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the tempest. Red has no restrained over her wind and she tries her best to contain it within herself, she knows that she will have to learn to control it before someone gets hurt.



Being bounced from house to house had made Red cynical, she stopped opening up to the families, keeping a safe emotional distance and desperately waiting for her mother to get out of jail, and when her latest placement didn’t work out, Red is placed to a new foster home with Celine and Jackson Groove, a retired couple and their many dogs, who run a petting zoo with rescued animals including a dancing donkey, a 400-lb tortoise. Celine and Jackson are extremely patient, they also have their own problems, but they always respect Red, her complicated story and her decisions, giving her all the space and time she needs to settle down. Where other foster parents would have urged her and demanded to know what was her deal, the Grooves recognised small victories without pushing. The trust they gave her was primordial.
“Sometimes strangers feel like family. And sometimes my family feels like a stranger.”

I love how Red slowly healed thanks to the rescued animals. Taking care of another living being that had been through a lot was really therapeutic, like a mirror of her situation. The unfailing loyalty of Gandalf the dog, the tenderness of a goat or the love of Tuck the giant turtle were perfectly written and never failed to amaze me. Red connected with Tuck instantaneously after learning how his shell was injured, and she vowed to protect him. I also adore the friendship she wovens with her neighbour Marvin whose family is Hawaiian. Marvin has such positive energy, he is always cheerful and helpful, I loved how he wanted to share his culture by bringing Hawaiian food to school or trying to start a Hawaiian cooking show online.



Red is growing comfortable in her new situation, surrounded by unconditional love, when she finds out that her mother has actually been out of prison for months now and that she hasn’t reached out. As soon as she is allowed to visit her, her delight is tempered by her mother’s usual careless behaviour. As her mother’s custody hearing approaches, Red asks Marvin for help to make a video to convince the judge that she has to be placed back in her mother’s care. But, as we learned, things never go as planned.
“Grief isn't like anger. Anger can burn out. It can be released. But grief is something that becomes a part of you. And you either grow comfortable with it and learn to live your life in a new way, or you get stuck in it, and it destroys you.”

All the Impossible Things is honestly one of the best middle-grade I’ve ever read, the writing is beautiful and the story is the perfect balance between happy and sad, both heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time. I often reproach to books that they are telling instead of showing, but here I feel all the emotions with all my heart. I was a bit confused with the use of the wind power Red had, it’s always weird to have magic included in a totally normal world, and after many debating I think that the wind is actually a metaphor of her feelings, the more she feels desperate, the more she has this uncontrollable feeling deep inside her. Overall, this book shows the utmost importance of a loving family that needs to surround a growing child and that family is not necessarily where you are born but it is actually where you find it, the one that makes you feel like you belong.


Profile Image for Ms. B.
2,796 reviews35 followers
August 8, 2022
8/3/22 Red discovers the meaning of family and who hers is.
10/24/21 Beautiful story about finding family. What's impossible? What's hard? What's the difference?
That's what Red needs to figure out when she is sent to live with a set of older foster parents .
Give this one to fans of Wish or uplifting titles like Wonder.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,147 reviews447 followers
August 18, 2019
Who wouldn't want to visit the Groovy Petting Zoo and watch Fezzik the donkey feed the chickens? I also fell in love with Tuck the tortoise. The rescue animals surrounding Red in her new foster placement brought healing for her and value to the narrative. What took away from the book was the strange powers Red, her mom and Celine had. I realize that for Red it was a depiction of her frustration from losing and leaving; from being tossed about like an old shoe at times. It was difficult to determine whether bad weather was her fault or not at times. The magic was superfluous in my opinion. This is a wonderful book for foster kids to see themselves in a book and for kids with intact homes to gain empathy for foster kids in their schools. The subject of cancer is also addressed. I must also comment on the fact that as the Grooves and the Kapules were supposed to be friends from a church I would have expected them to be offering to pray for each other and/or together as crises arose throughout the story. Seems like a missed opportunity to authentically depict families walking together in faith.

Thank you to Macmillan and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shaye Miller.
1,236 reviews80 followers
January 9, 2021
This is another one of those "why have I not heard more about this book" moments. Because, while this was Lackey's debut novel, it was quite good and discussed an important topic that is often overlooked in middle grade literature. Ruby (AKA Red) is being moved from one foster home to another one. She knows not to get her hopes up -- her life is what it is and she'll never feel settled. But her backstory is quite painful and we have constant flashback memories to explain why her mom is in jail and why her grandmother can no longer take care of her. Oof! So hard. :(

I adored Ruby's new foster family, but as things began to unravel, I felt Red's despair -- such an utter sense of loss to feel like you belong nowhere. This is key for helping young readers gain important empathy. Oh and Red's new best friend is Marvin and he's simply fantastic. There's also a magical realism element to this story. And what might be most appealing to the middle grade audience is the fact that some of the adults just roll with it like there's nothing unusual about having special powers. I'm happy to recommend!

For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!!
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
1,894 reviews3,115 followers
September 9, 2019
All the Impossible Things is a beautiful story about family, different kinds of love, healing from trauma, and the foster care system, all with a dash of magical realism. Red has been bounced from foster home to foster home for the past two years, some of them abusive, while her mother serves a drug-related prison sentence. She is seen as a trouble maker who destroys things with her out of control wind magic. (The magic in this book is used as a stand-in for emotional responses and is a beautiful allegory for younger readers trying to process big feelings that can feel dangerous or destructive at times.) At the beginning of the book, her social worker finally places her with a wonderfully loving and quirky family that owns a petting zoo, but Red doesn't trust anyone easily and wants her mom back.

This book is a beautiful story of love and healing, but not one that comes easily or without messiness. It does a great job of examining the harm that can occur in the foster care system, but also the immense value that can come from foster parents who do things well, even if it is incredibly difficult at times. It also normalizes the complicated feelings that kids can have about parents with addiction problems. They love them, but have also been hurt by them and that isn't an easy thing to parse. Ultimately, the most loving thing a parent can do sometimes is to let go, and this book explores that, with all of the pain involved. Red also experiences PTSD from watching her beloved grandmother die from cancer when her new foster mom is diagnosed with (treatable) cancer as well. There is a lot about loss and pain, but also love, friendship, and healing.

I love the way magic is used in the book. Red can harness the wind and wind can be gentle and playful, or it can be big and destructive. In this book, it responds to her emotions and so we see the power of anger or fear, but also the beauty of love and security in a ver visceral way. I think adding this element helps to create a powerful and useful analogy for how feelings not only effect us, but also the world and people around us, even for children.

I thought this was a fantastic debut that is important and well-executed with diversity done in a way that undercuts negative stereotypes. Reds foster father is a tall Black man who is kind and gentle, and she becomes friends with a next door neighbor who is Hawaiian with a family that deeply values their culture. I received an advance copy of this book for review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Amber Hyde.
395 reviews50 followers
September 23, 2019
4/5 Stars.

Oh the tears! This was really well done. I felt the struggles of each character and the trials and tribulations that families go through in regards to fostering children. I highly recommend everyone read this book.

YA and up.
Profile Image for Clare O'Connor.
Author 1 book11 followers
May 7, 2019
ALL THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS is one of the best middle-grade books I’ve ever had the privilege of reading.

The book follows the story of 11-year-old Ruby (who goes by the nickname Red).

Red is dealing with a whole lot of hard stuff: grandmother's death, mother in prison, and having been shuttled in and out of some pretty awful foster homes. Through it all, Red keeps a secret: her emotions impact the wind. She can create a wild and dangerous storm!

We meet Red as she is leaving one foster home and being taken to a new one. Reluctant to share much with her new foster parents (Celine and Jackson), Red maintains a safe emotional distance. Thankfully, Celine and Jackson are able to respect that Red has lots to deal with and that she must do so on her timeline, not theirs. They lovingly navigate their growing love for her in the midst of valuing Red's only goal: being returned to a mother who can't quite get her act together.

Celine and Jackson are kind and patient and have stories of their own, which are woven nicely into Red's. They are also the owners of a petting zoo. Red meets an array of animals, including a rescue tortoise named Tuck. She connects with Tuck instantly, especially when she learns how he obtained the scar on his shell. A fun-loving boy (Marvin) who lives close by adds humour and levity.

This is a story about love, forgiveness, belonging, and what it really means to be a family.

My profound thanks to Lindsay Lackey and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
26 reviews2 followers
January 9, 2019
Feeling All the Love for ALL THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS

I’m so in love with All the Impossible Things. This is a truly special, beautifully written middle grade novel—both poignant and super hopeful. MC Ruby “Red” is relatable, resilient and brave, and currently stuck in the foster system while her single-mom attempts to get her act together. Red’s added complication is that her emotions affect the wind, which means when she’s upset, she might just cause a tornado! I fell in love with all the characters, whether two-legged or four. Red’s new foster parents are good, nurturing people who own a petting zoo which boasts way too many adorable animals to fall in love with, most especially Red’s favorite—Tuck Everlasting the tortoise—but also, Fezzik the donkey, and so many more, each one perfectly named (Bronte, Frodo, and Lancelot, etc…). All the Impossible Things is a loving and kind story about “made” families and about being hopeful even when things feel impossible. It made me laugh and cry, and warmed my heart and soul. Reading it was a magical experience. This one is going on my favorites shelf.
Profile Image for Sara Codair.
Author 30 books56 followers
July 25, 2019
Alright, so I’m back to that middle grade reading spree! Granted, it hasn’t felt like much of a spree yet since this is only the third middle grade book I’ve read this summer…

Spree or not, I received a free copy of All the Impossible Things from Netgalley and read the whole thing in one night.

The first thing I want to say is that I want to meet Gandalf the dog and give her treats and play fetch and be her friend. Really, I want to meet and befriend all the animals.

Second, this book was beautifully written and made me cry more than once. Even though at times it was heart-breaking, it was also heart-warming and up lifting.

In some ways, All the Impossible Things was a book of contradictions. There were times when on the surface, it felt like not much was happening, but below the surface, everything was happening. There may not have been much as far as external action or adventure, but the internal growth was incredible.

All the Impossible Things is a story about a girl with magic wind adjusting to life in a new foster home, one with two loving retired people and a whole bunch of amazing animals: dogs, goats, horses, a donkey, chickens, and a giant tortoise. The author did a fantastic job bringing the setting and all its four-legged inhabitants to life. The sense of wonder never flagged. Additionally, there was never a page with no emotional beat. Red/Ruby was constantly learning, growing, being set back, and moving forward throughout the book.

As someone who is used to reading genre fiction, this book was quieter than what I’m used to, but I was never bored with. I was invested enough in the character and her arc that despite its quietness, I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen to Red. It was a good reminder to me that the action in a story can be small as long as what is happening inside a character is compelling.

I can’t really comment on the accuracy of the foster-related representation. I have no first hand experience with foster care, and only have acquaintances who have adopted children through the foster care system.

I can say the sentences, character and story are beautiful, thought provoking, and emotional. Based on that, I’d recommend All the Impossible Things.
Profile Image for Kate O'Shaughnessy.
Author 2 books70 followers
November 25, 2018
Oh, this book. Oh, my heart.

I really, really, really loved this book.

This exquisitely written debut details 11-year-old Red's journey through the foster care system. Beyond bouncing around from home to home, Red is also dealing with something else: she can control the wind, a power she inherited from her bio mom. Though more often than not, the wind controls Red.

This book is full of special characters and animals I fell in love with: there's a prank-playing donkey, a 400-lb tortoise who loves bananas, Red's neighbor, Marvin, with his Hawaiian cooking show and indomitably cheerful spirit, and a foster family that reminds us that true family isn't always blood.

ALL THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS is the perfect balance of happy-sad. It will make you ugly cry and will fill your heart with hope. There are threads of magic on every page, reminding us that sometimes, impossible things are possible. This is the kind of book that will make a difference.
Profile Image for Lana.
20 reviews20 followers
December 24, 2019
I'm truly sorry, but I have to rate this book one star.
All the Impossible Things sounded like a good idea- but once again, unrealistic themes in here ruined the book.
Hear me out.
Foster care systems are NOT like this. I have had MUCH experience with this, and this is my conclusion:
The foster mom in this book said lots of things that the Child Care Services don't allow you to say- you can get in serious trouble for not following the rules, and even though she was saying good things, I repeat. You are not. Allowed. To say stuff like that.
For some reason it's a fad right now to make foster children almost perfect- WHY? The thing is, people are writing like they are angels on earth, and they are making it so the main characters has NO bad intentions, ever, make no mistakes, and they are practically blameless. Even more then normal people.
LISTEN. Foster children have problems too, okay? I think fostering and adoption is fantastic, but why are we writing unrealistically? They are going to have attachment problems, and several other things due to their past! It's not just "Oh I'm a sweet angel that's just waiting for a mommy and daddy". They act out. They do things. It's normal.
Please, focus on writing realistically, and not sugar coating and making this out into something it's not.
Profile Image for Brandi.
686 reviews30 followers
July 29, 2019
Lindsay Lackey's 'All the Impossible Things' is a delightful, entertaining read. I really enjoyed the characters of Red, Jackson, Celine, Marvin and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kapule as well as his grandparents, Ms. Anders, Tuck, Gandalf and the other critters. Wanda was a good antagonist, I was glad she did the sensible thing...
I think, aside from all the critters, Marvin was my fave. He was sweet, endearing, and a little nerdy. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, fun, and sweet story. My copy of this book was won from a Goodreads giveaway and I appreciate the opportunity to read and review it.
May 19, 2019
What a beautiful story! I loved the way the power of the wind symbolized the grief and anger Red felt through her journey with losing her Gamma and being separated from her mother. I think that this is a perfect middle school read especially for students who are going through their own sort of loss.
Profile Image for Ashley Lewis.
190 reviews116 followers
January 31, 2021
* Summary: Ruby “Red” Byrd, is eleven years old and has already been through more than most adults could imagine. Born to a single, teenage mother who became addicted to prescription pills, she was raised by her grandmother while she waits for her mother to be released from prison. However, Gamma soon gets diagnosed with cancer and sends Red into the foster care system for two years. She soon finds herself in the home of the Groove’s who own a petting zoo but Red knows better than to trust a strange, new family and wants nothing more than to return to her mothers arms. She soon starts to warm up to the family but what happens when Red’s mother finally worms her way back into Red’s life?

* In a very rare instance, the narrator for this audiobook could not have been better! She was not too monotone, was not too happy, just…the right amount of emotion to make you think that Red was talking to you herself. I usually have so much trouble listening to audiobooks because of the narrator but this was an audiobook that I was more than happy to listen to for hours on end.

* This was also my first middle grade read so I was not entirely sure what to expect but I was not expecting such a real-world struggle being so thoroughly detailed for a middle grade book. And the emotion the author managed to convey into the pages was so amazing.

* I am a dumbass so I didn’t quite see the reason for giving them wind magic BUT I do know that it’s probably a metaphor or plays into the “nothing is impossible” theme. I will definitely need to do some digging into this😅
Profile Image for Triana (bibliomaniacism).
126 reviews9 followers
January 8, 2020
Shout out to Macmillan for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This book is so amazing!!!! Definitely one of my favorite middle-grade novels out there.

I loved this book so much. The story was so raw, and the way it dealt with so many hard topics was terrific.

The main character(Red) is so great, she's an incredible kid who has been through so much! Her relationships with the people around her are so interesting, and the way they change throughout the book is fantastic.

The foster parents are the type of people that everyone likes, it's super hard to hate them. They didn't even hesitate taking Red in, they were so kind and warm. I loved them! All the animals were just so great, and they're home felt so cozy. 

I think that Lackey did a really good job getting into the head of the ten-year-old and was able to figure out how everything that was happening around would look from her perspective. We read about how she viewed her mother through her addiction, how she felt when she got sent away from a foster family. What made this book so raw and amazing was that it was unfiltered through the eyes of a ten-year-old child. The author wasn't scared to talk about addiction in a book targeted to children ages 8-12.  

When I read this book, I knew it would become one of my all-time favorite books. I truly would like everyone to read this book because it is just so amazing.
Profile Image for Kasia.
187 reviews14 followers
August 20, 2019
It's hard to say who should be the target for this book. Technically its marked as a story for middle grade but its pretty apparent that it has an ambition to be for all ages. So there are elements that I enjoyed as an adult (well executed psychology of the characters) and I would probably enjoy when I was 12 (raging pathos, everything focuses on the main character). However both this aspects don't mix together well so I kept switching from enjoyment to exasperation and back throughout the entire book.

Fantasy part about controlling wind is a complete misunderstanding because its only purpose is to emphasize the emotional state of the main character. Its a nice metaphor but executed in such a straightforward way and repeated so many times that I was really bored by it and wished it wasn't present in the book at all. Other fantasy elements are there only to sneak in more pathos.

I would still recommend this book. It was fun to identify parts that would made me delighted if I was still a teenager and now were just plain awful. Makes you wonder about how much and how fast you change.
Profile Image for Sami.
409 reviews27 followers
July 25, 2019
A truly beautiful addition to the middle grade canon that should go next to classics like The Thing About Jellyfish, The War That Saved My Life, and Because of Winn Dixie-it's that good. Red is eagerly counting down the days until her mother is released from prison so she can get out of the foster system. When she arrives at her new home, however, Red is surprised to find kindred spirits in her caretakers, neighbors, and the animals of their petting zoo. Torn between newly found happiness and the familiar comfort of her mother, Red searches for answers by looking for "impossible things," and discovers answers about love, family, and acceptance.
Profile Image for Lisa RV.
388 reviews30 followers
February 3, 2021
A middle-grade novel about a young girl navigating the foster care system in search of where she belongs.
Parts of this book are charming, especially the petting zoo animals and their names, as well as Marvin and his family, but sadness almost overtakes the entire tone of this book. The "wind" aspect of magical realism is a little awkward because it is never really explained, and might have worked better in more of a metaphorical sense. The writing style is very readable.
Recommended for grades 5-8 with the warning that it deals with foster care, cancer, grief, and addiction.
Profile Image for Taha.
26 reviews
May 25, 2020
Lackey's heart-warming book is rooted in its rich characters and deftly captures how trauma can affect young people and just how powerful some patience and unconditional love can be. Would make a great family read!
Profile Image for Melissa Adamo.
25 reviews2 followers
July 15, 2019
All the Impossible Things is an absolute MUST read!!

While it is a middle grade book, it is so wonderfully written that people of all ages will love this story. I'm 30 years old, and as soon as I picked this book up I was so fully immersed I couldn't put it down.

Overview:

All the Impossible Things focuses around Ruby Byrd, otherwise known as "Red," an 11-year-old girl living in foster care. Red has experienced more things in her childhood than most people do in a lifetime. She was born to a teenage mother who develops an addiction to prescription pills. Her biological father is a complete mystery, and her mother certainly won't give her any details. The shining star to Red's life is her optimistically upbeat grandmother ("Gamma") who raised Red for the first several years of her life.

Then the unthinkable happens... Gamma is diagnosed with cancer and eventually passes away leaving Red to the mercy of her mother. Not much time passes before her mom's addiction catches up with her and lands her in prison forcing Red into the system. For years she is bounced around from house to house, school to school, never feeling quite a home. Never opening up to her foster families. Because what no one knows is Red has inherited something from her mother. Something dangerous. She can control the wind. She keeps it contained within herself as best she can, but it turns dangerous when she is feeling scared or threatened. Any time she has a major flare up she is moved to a new home.

Red's latest episode is what lands her with her latest foster parents, Jackson and Celine, at their Groovy Petting Zoo farmhouse. Finally she begins to make unexpected friends and form bonds with her foster parents. There are still hardships, twists, and turns in her new home, but has Red finally found her forever home? When she finds out her mom has been out of prison for months and starts to build a relationship with her again, Red still isn't sure she's in the place she needs to be. Only time will tell...


Review:

I can't speak enough praises about this book as it has so many themes and life lessons within. Lindsay brings to life how we experience and handle (or don't handle) grief, abandonment, anxiety, addiction, and so much more. She also shows how our give family isn't always what is best for us. Sometimes the friends we make and the family be build along the way is where our hearts truly lie.

I have firsthand experience with being raised in an unstable home by a mom who's in a tumultuous relationship. I had an absent father. There was a lot of neglect and abuse. Now I'm currently fighting to get my niece and nephew out of the foster care system (not so easy when we're living in different states), and I see how hard it is for them to live with strangers, build relationships, and see their mom do nothing to fix the situation. I am so glad Lindsay has addressed these real life problems. Kids need this type of representation and connection. They need to feel some hope that in the end everything will be OK...even if it's not. That little bit of hope can be what saves them.

Now, let's talk about the idea of Red controlling the wind. It may seem like it's random. Some people may not understand the point of it, but it is one of the best metaphors for anxiety that I've ever seen. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I'm assuming it was. I've personally struggled with PTSD and severe anxiety/panic disorders. The way Red holds in her feelings because she's afraid of the storms it will bring is exactly like experiencing anxiety. When she does create a full blown storm it is like experience a full blown panic attack. Everything feels out of control and like there's no way to stop it. You just know that you or someone is going to get hurt, and it feels like it's all your fault. Eventually she learns to let it go and turn her storms into something beautiful which is all you can really hope for when learning to cope.

Quotes I loved:

"...knowing the difference between hard and impossible is important. Lots of things in life are hard. But nothing is impossible."

"There's always a woman hidden in history who did as much or more than any man."

"Sometimes strangers feel like family. And sometimes my family feels like a stranger."

"...there's no sense worrying about fair or not fair. All I can do is try to make this world better while I'm here."

"Sometimes the things that make up our world are scary. Sometimes they hurt us. Sometimes they destroy everything we love. But that doesn't mean we don't need them."

"When darkness closes in, though, the stars shine brightest."

"Grief isn't like anger. Anger can burn out. It can be released. But grief is something that becomes a part of you. And you either grow comfortable with it and learn to live your life in a new way, or you get stuck in it, and it destroys you."
Profile Image for Desdemona.
Author 4 books52 followers
October 23, 2019
This book makes my heart feel so full. Though the first line, where she talked about "getting the wind" from her mother, my initial reaction was "Dang that sucks you got bad gas, Ruby" and I had a little chuckle about it for a good bit. Cause that's not what Lackey meant AT ALL.

This story filled me with so much hope and love that I spent a good portion of the book openly weeping and also crying. Red finding a family with Celine and Jackson and Tuck and all the animals at the petting zoo was pretty much everything I've ever wanted.

I grew up in a bad home like Ruby. I never had to go to foster care or got taken from my parents, but I always wanted a family that would love me the way Jackson and Celine love Ruby. So this book really spoke to my soul.

I also absolutely loved how Lackey kept me guessing through the entire book. Wondering if everything was real or just this impossible metaphor for what it's like to grow up the way Ruby did. All of her too big emotions and too much pain and suffering became this huge impossible thing, but...in the end. She's found. She's seen. She's loved.

This book was simply incredible.
Profile Image for Eileen.
1,821 reviews70 followers
October 11, 2019
This was an absolute tear-jerker for me, especially the last 25%. And I loved it! This is a beautiful story about Ruby "Red", a girl who has been in the foster system for 3 years. She has had many emotionally charged experiences in her life, including abandonment/neglect by her drug addicted mom, watching her beloved Gamma die from cancer, and several bad foster experiences before she finds the family in this book. She struggles with her emotions linked to all that has happened to her and these emotions affect her power to control wind. Although the powers are obviously supernatural/fantasy, the book reads as realistic fiction. Red is very relatable as she takes on all that has happened to her on her own shoulders, and watching her learn, grow, break, and heal is a powerful experience. If you loved Far from the Tree, another favorite of mine, then I think you'll love this book!
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