In case anyone was wondering, I’m the type of person who likes to read the book before they watch the movie. Yeah, I’m super annoying like that. I wanted to watch this film years ago, but I really really really really really (is that enough reallys?) wanted to read the book yet. It slipped me mind for years (literally), until I found it at a local charity bookshop. So, I picked it up and let it sit on my shelf for a very long time. Pretty normal for me, if I’m being honest.
Time came around where I wanted to branch out and read something a little different, so I finally picked the book up. Yay me!
Dude, I’m impressed but also wildly confused. So, let’s begin:
This book started off super intriguing for me and I was instantly hooked. That changed though, because about half way through it got slower and more boring for me. By the ending, I wasn’t as interested. But mighty me wants to watch the movie, so I trapezed on.
Ree is a sixteen year old living with her Mom and her younger brothers. Her Father is into the drugs and has since ran away from the cops. He’s being searched for because there’s a warrant out for his arrest. Normally, a young sassy girl like Ree wouldn’t care, but her jerk face of a Father put their house up as his bail. And, ya know, he isn’t gonna show up.
So, Ree decides to go on a journey to find him. Along the way there’s triumph and trouble, like anyone expects on an adventurous journey. Oh, and rape and drugs and stuff like that. You know, light hearted stuff (cough cough… sarcasm…. cough cough).
The setting is stunning. I really love Daniel Woodrell’s descriptive way of writing. I was whisked away into another world trying to imagine the stunning scenery he listed. Seriously, that alone deserves a big star. His writing is beautiful.
The isolated location makes it more interesting though, because there’s meth heads, drug addicts, and this little slice of life book shows how hard it can be in the wilderness and different areas of the world. It gives U.S.A. vibes, maybe in Alaska, but there’s no hard concrete to suggest that. It easily could be up in the Canadian North as well. The language showcases different accents and ways of speaking, which sometimes made it harder to read, but still spoke well of the story. It sent you away to another world for a while, which was really cool.
I liked that a strong female character was in the lead. She does what she needs to do to keep her family safe and doesn’t have a squeaky clean life. Bad things have happened to her and she has mistakes littered around. It made me want to weep for her at some parts, because people are cruel. Yet, she stands tall and goes on her journey. She’s tough and the kind of female character we need. No shiny, blonde perfection. There is lots of courage though. How else can you survive in the situation she’s in?
Overall, this book is really interesting. It’s going to be hit and miss for some people due to the language and storyline, but it’s still worth the read. I can understand why it got turned into a movie, because it’s just so darn good.
Three out of five stars.
If you love gritty books, check out some other books that have been recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview Drug Gang Takedown by Neil Walker
#BookReview The American Crusade by Mark Spivak
#BookReview Wrong Place by Michelle Davies
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