Thursday, July 2, 2009
Review- Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
Anke’s father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she’s just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. When she learns to yell “Mine!” to call a ball, she finds a voice she didn’t know existed. For the first time, Anke is seen and heard. Soon, she’s imagining a day that her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home—including herself.
This is such an emotional and powerful book. Chaltas has an extremely gripping, raw and realistic debut here; what makes it even more chilling is reading the acknowledgements where she writes "I write now what I could not say then." and the wry witticism of "Only truth and fiction were used in writing this." (Both of these are paraphrased as my copy is unreachable at the moment.) As this is a verse novel, the reading goes by quickly, but I was propelled even more so with the wondering of how this would all end. I gotta say that the ending surprised me; I knew part of it would happen, but wasn't sure how and where that part would continue to. The way in which Chaltas writes flows so well and is so vivid, it's a real treat to read this book, even with the heavy subject matter. What I really like about verse novels is how intimate and raw the emotions and characterization is, and that really lends itself well in writing about a heavy subject such as this- child abuse. I really liked Anke's character and reading about where she fit in with her family and her thoughts regarding the abuse happening were really interesting for me. Fans of Ellen Hopkins' work would definitely enjoy this. Highly recommended.