Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

Title: Without Tess
Author: Marcella Pixley
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Source: Thanks Netgalley and  Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Summary: Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf in the middle of the night. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies. As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can’t live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever. Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister. With the help of a school psychologist and Tess’s battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go.

Review: Without Tess proved to be an amazing read, yet it had some disturbing aspects.

Tess is the sister that disturbed me, with her wild fantasies and the crazy and hurtful things she made her sister do. Lizzie is the sister that ultimately made me care for her. She was so wounded and just blamed herself for Tess's death. It was like I couldn't not care for her. Her narration was one of the things that made the story. I wanted her to be happy.

Speaking of the writing...wow. Pixley has the most beautiful writing. She paints a picture that makes you think that you are in Tess's distorted world. Just the way Pixley put things was thought out and so elegant. I would soak up this writing even if the story was awful. But it most definitely isn't..

Pixley did a great job of combining Lizzie's present with flashbacks and poems from the Peagsus Journal, which is Tess's journal. The flashbacks are what made the characters make sense and in turn they fleshed them out even more. Each character had a special place in the story and that was one of the things I really liked about this book. There seemed to be no filler

The flashbacks reveal a lot of what happened before Tess but they keep you guessing to the very end. In a way I like this but sometimes I just had to know what happened.

Without Tess is an amazing, touching story about moving on and the bond between sisters.

Rating: 4.5 stars


Lauren M said...

Review twins! :) I really enjoyed Without Tess as well. The writing was just gorgeous! Great review, Katie!

Lah @ Lazy Girl Reads said...

Great review!I happen to love books that include flashbacks, especially when they are strategically placed!

Lah @ LazyGirl Reads

Lisa said...

This novels sound really intriguing. It sounds really complex and that there is a real physiological issue in the plot as well.

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