16 February 2013

Reflecting on When You Were Older

I didn't intend to like When You Were Older. I didn't even intend to finish it. I tried it one night on a whim and the next thing I knew, I was half way through and found myself craving more. I don't know what to say about this story other than it disarmed me and held me captive. Who hasn't wondered what it was like for the ones that survived? The ones that had to grapple with how close they got and find a way to move forward. That mix of both relief and guilt they must carry with them. These characters, their feelings, and the series of tragedies that befalls them felt so real and tangible. While I may have started When You Were Older a skeptic, I devoured it and am happy that I read it. It's one of those stories that stuck with me and I will reflect back to. The next time I need a read that feels real and true, I'm going to try another Catherine Ryan Hyde story. 
Have any of your read her work? Do you recommend one over another?

Whine: I did feel Russell should have focused on the loss of his mother a bit more.

Whippersnappers: The story, despite the tragedy that begins it, is pretty clean. There is no sex and minimal, if any, foul language. There is anti-war sentiment and some violence.

4 stars

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

56 comments :

  1. It must be good if you didn't expect to finish it and ended up liking it.

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  2. I definitely have to check it out. If you read so much in one sitting it must be good.

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  3. I've read Hyde's When I Found You - which although I didn't love, I liked it well. I found it pretty thoughtful and charming too. I would recommend that one as well. I will have to read this.

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    1. Oh right on. I was wondering about that one. Thank you for the heads up :)

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  4. Isn't this by the author that wrote Pay it Forward? I like the potential of this book. It sounds like it will break my heart though. I'll have to add it on Goodreads.

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    1. Yes! Even though I've never read it. :) Have you?

      No worries btw. It's goood and emotional but not a heart breaker.

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  5. Glad this one surprised you in a good way. I love when that happens with books. Despite the content, sounds like a comfort or feel good read.

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  6. I also read a novel about 911 and didn't expect to like it either. It really stuck with me too: Artie Van Why's That Day in September. Great review!

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  7. I love it when a book I don't expect to love pulls me in like that! Yay for surprise awesomeness!

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    1. Brizzzz! Hey girl :D
      I've missed you! *hugs*

      Amen! "Yay for surprise awesomeness!"

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  8. I saw this yesterday on your Goodreads feed. I was intrigued -- still am. Widening the book genres, O la la!

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  9. I haven't read anything by Hyde, but I love that you weren't expecting much out of this one and it ended up holding you captive. I love books that end up being a pleasant surprise. The story sounds really interesting! Happy to hear you enjoyed this one, Juju! :)

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  10. I love it when a book unexpectedly pulls you in!

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  11. Sounds like an amazing read! I'm adding it to goodreads right now!

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  12. I can't believe you even picked this up with your initial thoughts, but glad you enjoyed it and some parts stayed with you. Nice surprise

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  13. This sounds like such a powerful read! One I'd e afraid to start as well but ne that sounds more than worth it!

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    1. It is :) Great word for it!

      And you're right, totally worth it.

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  14. I loved reading this review, and just wanted to tell you the following: This Wednesday and Thursday, the 20th and 22nd, the Kindle ebook edition of my novel Don't Let Me Go will be promotionally free. So that might be a good chance to try another, and it's probably a good next read for someone who enjoyed When You were Older. Just in case that's useful information.

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    1. OMG how exciting.
      Thank you so much for letting me know.
      That is totallly the one I wanted to try next.
      I will definitely grab it and inform my readers.

      Thank you soooooo much for stopping by.
      I'm quite honored.

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  15. Sorry. Obviously meant the 20th and 21st. Duh.

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  16. Awesome review! I love Catherine Ryan Hyde's books. I've read Pay it Forward and Jumpstart the World, and I had the same reaction. Thinking I was going to DNF, or not be that into it, and then just getting sucked into the story and the writing. I hadn't heard of this book, but it's definitely going on my TBR pile now. Thanks for putting it on my radar and for your thoughtful review!

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    1. Really? Oh wow. How funny that we felt the same way. You've officially increased my interest in reading more of her books.

      Thank you for popping by :)

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  17. UGH! This one's about 911 -huh? You are a brave girl to read this one. I don't know if I'm ready to relive all the horror of that day. Is so unfathomably sad. Kudos for you for reading such a heart wrenching book. I'm happy you enjoyed it and it was worth reading. Someday, when I'm brave I think I'll try it.

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    1. I feel ya. But I must admit, Catherine Ryan Hyde does a really good job. It was sad without being gut wrenching.

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  18. I've never read anything by her, although I've heard of Pay it Forward. I have to appreciate a well-written book involving 911, because it still seems so recent (even though it has been over a decade). Thanks for the heads up!

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    1. I agree. It still feels fresh. Yet she reminded me of things I had forgotten.

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  19. I love when books surprise me like that! I have had that happen a few times and it always makes me smile :)

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  20. Ooooo love books like this Juju! The ones you pick up thinking they're probably not going to work for you but you figure you'll give them a try anyway and then BAM you're 200 pages in with no idea of how you got there so quickly. WIN!

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  21. I haven't read anything by this author, but I did see the film version of Pay It Forward. Moving, for sure. Sounds like Hyde writes beautiful books!

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    1. I saw the film too. It was goood. I should read it. :)

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  22. I have definitely heard good things about the author, but I myself haven't read any of her books. I do get the impression she writes very touching and real stories, and it seems like that is the case with this one, as well. I'll have to give her books a try sometime!

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    1. Yes! Well said.
      "Touching" is a great word for her.

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  23. I'm loving this cover. And I love a book that just totally draws you in and next thing you know... it's two hours past bed-time.

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  24. I LOVE when that happens with a book (or a movie for that matter). You go in not expecting much but then you are swept away.

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  25. My first time hearing of this one but it sounds like it made quite an impression!

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    1. It sure did. I can't wait to try more of this author.

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  26. I'm so thrilled you loved this one! Catherine is a good friend of mine and lives just a short distance from me. Her books are incredible. Truly. Love the review! xoxo

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    1. What? Really? How cool! I shouldn't be surprised. You're amazing so you must have amazing friends. This was my first. I think I remember you loving her work. Thank you sugar. :)

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