Review: Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum

Lizzie     Nov 23rd, 2010     Realistic Fiction, Reviews, Things You Should Check Out     0 Replies

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 312 pages
Publisher: WestSide Books (October 27, 2010)
Source: ARC received from publicist
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934813419
ISBN-13: 978-1934813416

Fifteen-year-old Ashley Asher has spent half of her life living in fear. Her stepfather has been sexually abusing her for years, but her mother doesn’t believe her. After his latest assault lands her in the emergency room, Child Protective Services finally removes Ashley from her home, and sends her to live with the father she barely remembers and his new family.

Her new life in Patience, Texas, is much better. She’s in therapy to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is trying to make her way in a new high school. She’s getting used to living with her father, stepmother, and stepbrother, and she’s made new friends in the summer course taught by her stepmother, Bev. She even joins the track team at the urging of her new African American friend, Z. Z. But Ashley is so traumatized by her past that she sometimes scratches herself until she bleeds and sleeps in her armoire, even though she knows she’s safe now. Worse, when her stepfather is finally put on trial for hurting her, she learns that truth and justice don’t always go together.

Will Ashley adjust to a better life? Will she trust enough to date Josh, the cute guy on her track team who likes her? YA readers will be caught up in the heart-pounding story of a damaged girl trying to heal herself and get on with the rest of her life.

Okay, so, first off before I get the good part of this, I just wanted to majorly apologize. This was supposed to be posted on November 2nd but two things happened: my mailman stole my first ARC and I was in internets fail. In other words, my internet went BOOM. Not really, but whatever. Anyways, read on for some awesome words.

When I was offered the chance to review Hope in Patience, I immediately jumped on it. As someone who struggled with self-harm and depression, I’m always willing to read books that bluntly deal with those issues and offer hope in a time of absolute lowness. And despite the issues I had getting my hands on a copy, I’m so glad I read this.

I don’t think I’ve ever related so closely to a character. Why, you ask? Because Ashley is the most real, most damaged character I’ve read about and in some ways, she reminds me of myself. I suffered from self-harm for a long time (but I’m happy to tell you that as of late, I am no longer struggling!) and the things Ashley did—I sometimes did myself. And more recently, I’ve been struggling to gain control of my life with a stalker in it (more recently, two, as #1 now has a friend who watches me too). Charlie reminds me all too much of him; I think Hope in Patience came in my life at an excellent time.

I don’t think there are enough words to tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I don’t usually read contemporary because it’s normally about bubbly teenagers I can’t relate to at all but upon reading the first chapter of Hope in Patience I knew it was more than just your average contemporary. It was brutal and honest and everything a book like this should be. Throughout, no matter how many times Ashley relapsed into self-harm, I could still feel hope pouring off the pages.

As I related my situation with the guy who watches me to Ashley’s, I could see myself slowly rising out of the feeling like a helpless little victim. I’m still working on not flinching when he revs his engine at me and on not letting my stomach fall out of my body when I see him but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. That if I just wait (to quote Ashley’s therapist, Dr. Matt), I’ll be okay.

I’m highly recommending you read this book, guys. It’s elegantly written and the themes, while often difficult and heart-wrenching, will keep you reading until you realized you’ve devoured the entire book in less than 24 hours (not that I did that myself…). Not to mention, the cover is completely beautiful. I don’t know why I love it so much but I do. If I didn’t know about this already, I’d probably get caught by the cover in the bookstore.

Check out the trailer too:

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