Rowena Holloway's Reviews > Carry Me Away

Carry Me Away by Robb Grindstaff
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it was amazing

This second novel by US writer Robb Grindstaff is a compelling read from the first page to the last thanks to the strength of voice and an original twist on a coming-of-age story.

One month shy of her thirteenth birthday, Carrie is seriously injured in a car accident that kills her brother. Given just a few years before her damaged organs shut down, Carrie decides she wants to experience adulthood. And for her that means going to college, where she can live away from home, fall in love, do what she pleases. For a medicated, home-schooled army brat this seems an impossibility. With little else to occupy her time, smart and determined Carrie graduates early and looks set to achieve her dream. But acting like an adult is not the same as growing up and Carrie’s greatest threat may not be her failing organs.

From the moment we meet Carrie she pulls you into her world. Even at thirteen, she is sassy and cynical and refuses to play the victim. Written in the first person, the story moves along at a good pace and is peopled with a raft of supporting characters, each individual and well-crafted. The conversations with her Cajun grandmother are rich with metaphor and subtext; those with her Japanese grandmother are more prosaic, which is fitting for a character who has done her best to ignore her Japanese heritage. For me, the latter chapters with her love interest lack some of the vibrancy of the early ones, primarily because Carrie learns a little more self-control, though she never loses that sass. Unlike many novels written in first person, Carrie rarely comes across as whiny or self-absorbed when she could be forgiven for both.

Grindstaff is an accomplished writer and a master at showing us Carrie’s world. Through her eyes we learn that growing older doesn’t equate to growing up and that invisible scars can be more destructive than the visible ones.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 12, 2014 – Shelved

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