Book Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Impossible Knife of Memory
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Released: January 7th 2014
Review Source: Viking Juvenile

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

You may know I am a sucker for heartbreaking stories. When Yara first told me about this book and after reading the summary, I just couldn’t wait to read it. Have you ever completed a book and wondered what it was missing? Well, this is how I feel after finishing this.

Hayley’s father, Andy, is a war veteran and is struggling with his demons. This has impacted Hayley and she has difficulties coping with life. To help Hayley with her future, Andy moves back to his hometown. Now Hayley must learn how to live a normal life. How can this possibly be normal when all she does is take care of him?

New in town, Hayley meets Finn, a very inscrutable and impulsive boy. He tricks Hayley and then they start a relationship. What I don’t like about this is that this relationship is so awkward. There is no chemistry at all and it takes much of the story. I would’ve liked the story to provide us more of Hayley’s life before her father’s demons began.

Over all, this book deals with a real life and a difficult topic. This is my first time reading a book of Laurie Anderson and you can tell by reading it, that she did an incredible job at researching about PTSD. I have to give her mad props, she nailed this topic. Yet, when it came to the romance, I think it was not necessary as much as this book goes into. Especially the romance Hayley and Finn shared. Nonetheless, this is a good read.


  1. Aw that is just too bad that this didn't live up to what you were expecting. I have never loved the other books I have read by this author so I wasn't really expecting to read this one.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. This author has a knock for tough and serious topics. I don't love her books but they're enjoyable enough and I actually want to read this one and I'm glad that it's at least enjoyable even thought he relationship between the characters is really awkward. Great review!


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