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Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

Released: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Series: Stand Alone
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 224
Genre: Contemporary, Family, Realistic Fiction
Format: e-Galley
Source: Netgalley

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.

Raw Emotion.
This story hit me hard. 
It is a book that will have you crying by the final chapters from the bittersweet conclusion to Lizzie's absolution. For all of you that have heard good things about this book. They are true. Do not delay in reading Without Tess, the story is unforgettable.

During the beginning I was confused with what was going on. But after a few chapters I figured out that you went from present day 15-year-old Lizzie Cohen to flashbacks of 10-year-old Lizzie and 12-year-old Tess Cohen. Some of the narration was strange but when the details about Tess are revealed the pieces fit together nice and snug. 

Tess, I had a love-hate relationship with her character. What she puts Lizzie through made me mad. I had a friend like Tess (not exactly like Tess but the actions that she performs) where I was did whatever she said. If I happened to step out of her line of control, I would get a temper tantrum or an unreasonable action. Tess, an over-dramatic troubled child had me teetering on the edge for her. 

On the other hand, Lizzie, the pity for her was deep. Death is a terrible nail that pushes itself through you and never recedes. Even for sisters that happened to be as close as could be. The overbearing guilt that had built up within her for over five years must have been excruciating and she's one of those characters that you wish you could jump into the story and just hug them and tell them "I'm here for you, everything's going to be okay."

Marcella Pixley was outstanding with the imagery. The pictures painted in my mind. Of the frail and skinny Tess with the red hair down to her waist. Lizzie who dressed in all black, the shadow of guilt and the years of tears hiding within her. The overpowering image of Tess' last moments. And the ending, the beginning of a Lizzie, free from the guilt and free as a bird, ready to start over and prepare her voice once more.

First Line: Every Wednesday I bring the battered Pegasus Journal into the high school guidance office.

Story: XS

Cover: A

1 comment :

Stephanie Verhaegen said...

Sounds amazing. Thank you for the great review!

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