*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

"A Corner of the Universe" by Ann M, Martin

This was probably one of the first books that began to shape me as a reader outside of the world of innocent children's books. Hattie lives a relatively safe life. Her parents own a boarding house and much of her time is spent helping care for the house and it's residents. She only has one friend, but since it is summer, she is mostly on her own. That is, until her uncle Adam comes around. Hattie has never met Adam. He is the much younger brother of her mother and he has been away at a special school since before Hattie was born. But since the school is closing, Adam will be spending time at home until new arrangements can be made. Adam is unlike anyone Hattie has ever met. She doesn't know it, but he is going to make an impact and change her life forever.

I really don't want to spoil anything, but this was one of the first books I ever read that had a not so happy ending. It was a real eye opener and started making me look at books differently. Up until I had read this book for the first time, everything I had read was fairly simple in plot and everything wrapped up nicely at the end. Even when things were tense or scary, all was well by the time the book ended. But that's not quite the case with
A Corner of the Universe. Though Hattie's eyes, I began to see that books can address reality and that the written word can play out just as harsh as the real world (this book is that really harsh, just conveying the realization I started to have after reading it). This is one of those books that I think everyone should read. It falls in line with R.J. Palacio's Wonder and Sharon M. Draper's Out of My Mind. Martin addresses many issues and topics that authors often shy away from. Adam's personality in this book is brutally honest. He is one of the most realistic characters I have come across (and the first time I read this book, he was probably the only truly realistic character I had met at that point). This is one of those books that needs to be read when you have some time to reflect upon finishing it. I hope that it is a life changer for other readers, like it was a life changer for me.
Happy Reading!

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