Suzanne 's Reviews > Charm & Strange

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
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Feb 15, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: kindle-read

I don't quite know how to review this book. I went into it expecting something completely different than what I actually got, so I'd recommend going into this book blind. Don't read the blurb, and definitely don't pay any attention to the tags on Goodreads.

It took me a while to figure out that I wasn't going to get what I thought with this one, which made me feel that it was quite weird in the beginning, and I was wondering when we were going to get to the pinnacle of the story, the werewolves, as was my understanding. And I was close to the home run before things finally clicked into place for me.

This book is written from the perspective of Andrew, the ten year old boy of 'before', and Win, 'after', who's now sixteen. In the past, we learn about his relationship with his family. His older brother Keith, who does his best to protect and care for Andrew, even though he's only four years older than him. His younger sister Siobhan, who's three years younger, and who he adores. He's remembering one summer when he went to stay with his grandparents, and his three cousins were there. Andrew doesn't seem to have much relationship with anyone other than his siblings. He's quite odd, and everyone was just generally mean to him. And all the while, his mother is at home in bed apparently suffering from depression.

Win, has many problems. He thinks there's a wolf inside of him, just waiting to be released. When things finally come to a head one night, and Win eventually cracks, thankfully, he has friends with him who are looking out for him. They immediately get him the help he needs.

This is not the type of book I regularly read. That's not to say I haven't read this type of book, but I like to be prepared if I'm going to. When I finished this book I just cried. And the horrible feelings that this book brought out in me, stayed with me over the next couple of days. I'm aware of the animals that live alongside us. I have my own children, it's something I'm constantly vigilant of. But in reading, I like escapism. If I'm going to be left with lingering feelings over a book, I like them to be happy, giddy ones.

On the whole though, when I looked back on this book after realising what was actually going on, it was an exceptionally well written book. Had I actually known what I was going to be reading and was clued in from the start, this would have had a higher rating, as I'm not sure I've ever read a book with such a complex way of telling it's story. Stephanie Kuehn is an extremely talented author and deserves a lot of praise for her execution of Charm & Strange. And while I wouldn't have read it had I known it's content, I'm glad I did, just to experience this authors work. I will be interested in reading more of her work in the future.
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Reading Progress

February 15, 2013 – Shelved
May 28, 2013 – Started Reading
May 30, 2013 –
32.0% "I'm finding this really tough to get into and not enjoying it too much at all. It was one I was looking forward to though so I'm reluctant to just give up. But this is my third day at it. I don't know how much more time I can waste on it"
May 31, 2013 –
49.0%
June 1, 2013 – Finished Reading
June 9, 2013 – Shelved as: kindle-read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Jessie (new) - added it

Jessie This looks soo good! How is it so far?:)


Suzanne Not too far in Jessie, but intriguing so far.


Suzanne This book broke my heart Sam. I wouldn't willingly have picked this up. But yes I did enjoy it I guess, it was kind of a weird one, but I liked the authors style.


Trish at Between My Lines Sounds interesting, it looks and sounds paranormal from the blurb too!


Suzanne It's not Trish. It's realism and I found it quite upsetting. I actually feel like I was duped into reading this book. I can tell you more if you like, you might still be interested, it's just not the type of book that I'd normally read. But it's very well written, and for someone who'd enjoy this kind of thing, could be an excellent read.


Trish at Between My Lines I like contemporary, is that what you mean by realism?


Suzanne Kind of, it's about (view spoiler). I don't mind the odd contemporary myself, but this is just too real for me. I'm all about escapism in my reading.


Trish at Between My Lines I don't mind realism if it's done properly. And you said you liked the style. Will keep in mind :-)


Suzanne It's done very well Trish. If you don't mind it, then it's well worth the read.


message 10: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ I'm so curious about this now, Suzanne! Wonderful review! :)


Suzanne Thanks Rachel. I hope you get to it. I'd be interested in seeing what you think :)


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