Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: These Gentle Wounds by Helene Dunbar

These Gentle Wounds

These Gentle Wounds by Helene Dunbar

Sometimes I wish I’d lost a leg or something. Everyone can understand that. They never get it when what’s been broken is inside your head.
Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life back on track.
But just when it seems like things are becoming normal, Gordie’s biological father comes back into the picture, demanding a place in his life. Now there’s nothing to stop Gordie from falling into a tailspin that could cost him everything—including his relationship with Sarah, the first girl he’s trusted with the truth. With his world spinning out of control, the only one who can help Gordie is himself . . . if he can find the strength to confront the past and take back his future.

”add

Publishes in US: May 8th 2014 by Flux
Genre: ya contemp
Source: flux via netgalley
Series? no

Buy it:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0738740276/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0738740276&linkCode=as2&tag=ladreasboo-20
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/these-gentle-wounds-helene-dunbar/1117011369?ean=9780738740270&itm=1&usri=9780738740270&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780738740270

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    I wanted to read this one because I needed to know more about Gordie and what his dramatic past was that wounded him on the inside. I also like to read a book from a male POV, and see how Gordie deals with it and tries to move on with his life. 
    The brotherly relationship with Kevin was awesome and I loved how that, and themes of family whether close, coming back into life, forgiveness, being hurt, and all that comes with letting people into our hearts and the messiest and most emotional parts of lives. 
    The inclusion of hockey also made me happy. I enjoy the Canes, and going to games, talking about hockey, watching it and getting into the head of a hockey player. How it centers him and focuses on the puck and stopping it is an interesting way to deal and help him with his mind and anxiety/flashbacks.  
     It is hard watching him do what he calls his spins, he relives the Day, as he called it, that his mom tried to kill him, and succeeded in killing herself and other kids, he thinks to get back at his dad. He doesn't want to die, but he claws at the walls, chews on things, has a desire to try to fly and step off the roof. Kevin does everything he can to protect and ground Gordie. But we see glimpses of violence from him, and instability and that makes Kevin's character even more well rounded and although its hard to read, we know that he never puts himself first, but he has learned to change himself a little at a time, but he too, has a hard road ahead for healing. 
    Nothing is sugar coated or glossed over. We see chilling and scary glimpses from the childhood of Kevin and Gordie. There is abuse, and a mother who does unthinkable things. I can't imagine her mindset but I obvu\obviously wish she could have gotten out of the relationship with Gordie's father for her sake and the kids and gotten help. But it didn't work that way and Gordie lives with the pain, fear, guilt, abandonment, and trauma everyday.
    When his dad comes back in the picture, it is hard not to be angry and want justice served to him. Gordie's memories of him, and the relationship between his dad and mom wasn't positive, and its hard to reconcile when you are a teen and a parent suddenly wants back in your life.  
     The romance in this one made me smile. It was cute and sweet. I was so glad that Sarah accepted Gordie as he was and saw through to what Gordie thought that only Kevin would. I love their stark conversations, the honesty, and the ability to just be quiet and together when Gordie couldn't find his words or spun a bit.
     The synopsis really got to me and it is so true. Not to minimize outward physical disabilities, but if you are missing an arm, somehow people can understand that to some degree... they could try to do things one handed for a bit to get a perspective of what he feels... But if it is mental illness, whether depression, anxiety or what I believe is PTSD with Gordie. If your brain doesn't work right, you really can't understand, just get over it, mind over matter, just do this, just do that is heard all too often, when it is not that simple.
     It was amazing and heartbreaking, emotional and handles all of these subjects so well. I devour reads like this. 
   
Bottom Line: Chilling, gritty powerful story about a boy trying to heal after traumatic event.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you like hockey?
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40 comments:

  1. Wow, this story sounds powerful. Happy you loved it.

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  2. I haven't heard of this story but it sounds so good. I love powerful and emotional reads so it seems great. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Great review, Brandi :)

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  3. I didn"t know this one but it sounds really nice, I'm glad you had a great time with it.

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  4. I am all about mental illness and such so you know it was on my radar, lol

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  5. I am right with you, the emotional and powerful sings to me

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  6. It really was... dark and gritty too though. Just my kind of read

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  7. This one sounds really good! Adding to my TBR now. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Jenea WhittingtonMay 8, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Books that have anything to do with mental health issues are normally emotional reads for me. I am glad that you enjoyed this one. Great review.

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  9. This sounds super emotional. I'd have to be in the right mood, but I think I might like this.

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  10. I really like the sound of this one; definitely different, and the author seems pretty fearless with how she handled the story.
    Great review, Brandi.

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  11. It is, I know some need certain moods for this heavy

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  12. It was so realistic though, and I totally appreciate that as someone who deals with it--not ptsd but depression and anxiety

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  13. Hope you enjoy, good to see you again!

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  14. I don't know how you can read these kinds of books, Brandi! It's so heartbreaking even with happy endings!!! Ugh!

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  15. PTSD is still something that they are trying to figure out as it affects everyone differently. Sounds like a riveting read.

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  16. Family relationships in YA are the best because we so rarely get to see them. Sounds like a very emotional read!

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  17. This book absolutely blew me away! I loved Gordie's voice and Kevin's unconditional love and support. It was such an emotional, heartbreaking story, but so well written. I'm thrilled to hear you loved it! Fantastic review :-)

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  18. Thanks for sharing how much you enjoyed reading the book - this seems gritty but definitely a powerful story.

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  19. This sounds pretty good. I haven't read a gritty story in awhile. I'll have to look more into this one :) Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  20. I love that it has a male MC. I so get this scenario. I have an auto immune disease and get sick often and have physical pain and sometimes I feel like people think I am A. acting or B. a big baby.

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  21. Its unusual these days to get him without the dual and him being part of the converse relationship

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  22. Very powerful and great if you love that sort of thing

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  23. Aw, the brotherly was amazing. I really liked it too

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  24. They seem to be coming around more in ya books now, not all of the time, but more than used to be

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  25. I know, it can be from so many things and have different ways that it expresses itself

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  26. I guess I am the personality that just eats it up

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  27. shootingstarsmagMay 8, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    This sounds great; I love books that focus on tough issues. And I can understand having something wrong inside that people just can't understand.

    Lauren from www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    And yes, I like hockey!!

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  28. Brandi I am so excited to see this book. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this sounds like a great book! That it's encouraging about mental health instead of making it something to hide or be afraid of or worse, ashamed of. I love your review and I am definitely getting this book to read.!

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  29. Wonderful review, Brandi! This sounds completely emotional. It brings out all my motherly protective instincts when I read stories where a mother abused her child/children! I just want to strange the mother. I'm sure I'd be in tears. :(

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  30. Andrea @The Bookish BabeMay 8, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    This sounds amazing! Heartbreaking and powerful. Thank you for the very insightful review, Brandi.

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  31. Brandi - What a thoughtful and wonderful review. This sounds like a gritty and emotional read for sure, and I really like that it's from Gordie's POV. Kevin sounds like an amazing brother as well.

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  32. Gordie was quite the narrator and I don't think it would have been as powerful from a nother point of view

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  33. I know, it is so hard to believe that others could do that to innocents,

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  34. Bookworm BrandeeMay 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Goodness, Brandi. This sounds like quite an emotional read. And I too enjoy a story told from a male POV. I'll have to add it to my tbr. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. I've heard of this one before, it looks very heart wrenching. I'm glad you liked it and thanks for the review!

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  36. Great review. I bought this book for Mental Health Awareness Month next month. I'm glad to hear that you liked it; this book sounds really unflinchingly realistic. I agree, part of what really made me want to read this book was that first bit of the synopsis. It's so accurate!


    I'm really looking forward to reading this.

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