Feels Like Home is the story of Mickey, a 16 year old girl living in a small Texas town. He dad has just died in a car accident and her brother Danny, who has been missing since a mysterious accident several years ago, has suddenly reappeared. Mickey, hurt because of what she perceives as his desertion of her, is grieving, angry and confused.
The story (published in the young adult category) is an interesting and deeply engrossing one, with a lot going on. There’s Mickey and the mystery of what happened all those years ago with Danny. There’s the dead dad, who it turns out was an alcoholic who was violent to Danny. Then there’s Danny himself, who is trying so hard to live in this town that blames him for his best friend's death, trying to be there for Mickey, who doesn’t want him around, and dealing with his own demons. He’s a sweet, dark tortured character who you want to know more about. I alternated between wanting Mickey to stop being so mean to him (there’s something about Danny that makes you feel protective) and understanding why she was acting out.
Other interesting characters are Christina, Mickey’s best friend, who I really like and want to know a lot more about (hint, hint write more about Christina); Johnny Lee, the rich handsome boy who likes Mickey; and, Uncle Jack, a relative who Mickey and Danny lived with when their father was incapable of taking care of them.
Uncle Jack is the voice of reason, but he’s also got his demons. There’s a heartbreaking scene in the book where Mickey sees him sitting alone, crying for his dead wife. Also acting almost as a character is the classic novel The Outsiders, which I thought was a great touch as it was one of my favorite books growing up.
Feels Like Home is a heartbreaking but hopeful novel. Like e.E. Charlton Trujillo’s first book Prizefighter en Mi Casa, it delves bravely into the dark underbelly of people’s lives and somehow manages to make it shine. She’s a damned fine storyteller and knows how to completely grab and keep her readers engaged and interested. The people in the book are so real and so well defined that by the end of the book, you know them and you care. You really care what’s going to happen to them all.
Read an excerpt here.Powered by Sidelines