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.
Publishes in US: May 8th 2014 by Flux
Genre: ya contemp
Source: flux via netgalley
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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.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you like hockey?