Art of Feeling
by Tims, Laura

A girl enduring constant pain in the aftermath of a disabling accident that ended her mother's life forges an unexpected bond with a boy whose medical condition prevents him from feeling pain and compels him to engage in self-destructive behaviors. By the author of Please Don't Tell. Simultaneous eBook.

Samantha Herring has lived in physical and emotional pain every day since the crash that took her mother's life. When she returns to school, she has to find new ways of reconnecting to her classmates while also adjusting to altered family dynamics. Then she meets Eliot, a classmate who doesn't feel physical pain due to a medical condition. Samantha quickly befriends him-much to Eliot's surprise, since he's never had friends-and hopes to protect him from his recklessness. As her friendship with Eliot grows deeper, Samantha begins to handle her pain and confront her memories of the crash. Tims' sophomore book captures the emotions of young characters dealing with loss, pain, and depression. Similar to S. A. Harazin's Painless (2015), the novel features delightful and distinctive characters, each with their own individualized way of dealing with tragedy. The mood is lightened by refreshing, welcome bursts of humor, creating a heartfelt package that many will enjoy. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Six months after Mom's death in a car accident, Sam copes with a new disability from that accident, a cryptic boy, family dysfunction, and peer violence.Sam walks on crutches now. Pain regularly "whiplashes" up her leg, bringing with it shards of memory from that "firestorm of glass and steel"—the accident she doesn't remember. Her brother gets high and screams back and forth with their perky sister, while checked-out Dad eats junk food. Enter new boy Eliot, all "pale mystery, sharp-cheekboned stares, and supercilious slouching"—and verbal prickliness. Eliot has congenital insensitivity to pain—he feels no physical pain—but he also exhibits social peculiarity (far beyond awkwardness, well into hurtfulness) and emotional wounds; some of Tims' definitions of disability, trauma, and accountability are murky. Likewise with the antagonist: Anthony (a "magazine-blond, Polo-wearing" drug dealer with a Yale scholarship and a "coffee-soft polite threat voice") commits extreme violence wearing an expression of "nothingness" but is also merely "a boy scared of losing his image." Because she didn't save Mom, Sam's determined to save Eliot, however he acts. Her first-person voice is funny and absorbing. In this "upper-middle-class town in the whitest state in the country," whiteness is standard except that Mom was half Hawaiian (a detail that's never explicated). Wry and engrossing, though jumbled. (Fiction. 13-16) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2020 Follett School Solutions