Book Review: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: July 8th 2014
Review Source: Doubleday

A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault—was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide forever-and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.

Wow... This book went from good to great in a heartbeat. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is such a heartbreaking novel that will leave you thinking after reading.

Emily Shepard had it all. Sure, her parents weren’t perfect, but she had a family… and a home. After a nuclear power plant exploded, killing both her parents, Emily is now a 17-year-old homeless girl. The rumors are her father was at fault of this explosion. And to avoid being questioned by the authorities, Emily runs away. Throughout the book, Emily shares her story of being homeless, from living at a homeless shelter to living in an Igloo made of plastic trash bags. It was such an emotional read.

Okay, so I was not a fan of the back and forth between the past and the future. But I was a wreck after finishing this book. You just can’t help it but appreciate life more. We have it easy compare to many people. And even though Emily had some issues, you can’t help it but to root for her. You want her to survive this ugly tragedy. You want nothing but the best for her.

This book is dark, deals with many sensitive topics. And Chris Bohjalian wrote it beautifully. This is my first time ever reading one of his books and it sure won’t be my last. If you’re in the mood for life lessons, then most definitely you should read Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands.

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