I was lucky enough to get to review this book for The NerdyBookClub a while back, but I thought I would share it here with you as well.
It takes a special book to be read on a Sunday night. This night is sacred in my household. After the kids are put to bed, the hush falls over the house, I make myself a cup of tea and then decide; is it a movie for once I would like to indulge in, a quiet conversation with my husband? Perhaps a letter to be written or papers to be looked at. And once in awhile I even let myself start a new book. See the problem with new books on a Sunday night is always that if the book proves too irresistible then I cannot put it down until the end and then Sunday night turns into early Monday morning and that makes for a long week. And yet, in the morning, after you rub the sleep out of your eyes, you almost always have to smile because the books was so worth it.
Emma Cameron’s “Out of This Place” is a Sunday night kind of book. A book that beckons you, lures you in with its premise of simplicity and then entraps you until you have turned the very last page. The synopsis is simple:
Luke spends his days hanging out at the beach, working shifts at the local supermarket, and trying to stay out of trouble at school. His mate Bongo gets wasted, blocking out memories of the little brother that social services took away from his addict mom and avoiding the stepdad who hits him. And Casey, the girl they both love, longs to get away from her strict, controlling father and start anew in a place where she can be free. But even after they each find a way to move on and lead very different lives, can they outrun their family stories — and will they ever be able to come together again?
Yet the way the author writes the book makes you feel whatever every character is feeling. She brings you into their world although probably foreign to most of us and makes you feel like you know it just as well as the characters know it. She fills you with their hopelessness and sense of entrapment and then lets you find the hope with them. This book is one that I could not put down until I had read the very last word knowing how it all ended. I had to find out what happened to Luke, Bongo, and Casey. And these characters have stayed with me, I often find myself wondering what they would do in a certain situation, what their lives would have turned into. Emma Cameron with her masterful use of verse brings us there with her and then leaves us there forever wondering how we could go on without knowing what had occurred in this book. My only regret is that I teach 5th grade and this book is too mature for them, but I hope that my students will remember in a few years that this is a must read for anyone who loves a great story of hope and life and change.