It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda Jensen hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and—best of all—a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry’s family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs. And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go.
Told in episodic verse, family is a fictionalized exploration of cult dynamics, loosely based on the Manson Family murders of 1969. It is an unflinching look at people who are born broken, and the lengths they’ll go to to make themselves “whole” again
Family by Micol Ostow was actually really good. I’ve always strayed away from verse type books just because they are sometimes very hard to understand but this one was actually very well written. When I got this in the mail, I immediately freaked out. I mean what was I supposed to make of a cover with a girl’s blank face on it and blood splatters along the book? We’re drawn into Mel’s story immediately when she talks about being broken. I guess this is a very important part to understand about humans. Sometimes when people break beyond repair there’s a reason why they do what they do. The entire novel pretty much revolves around this “godlike” guy named Henry. He was the most calculating, mental and just revolting person I have ever read a book about and that’s saying something. There’s one thing that’s keeping me awake at night and it’s how just like the cover of the book, the novel didn’t really make me picture someone specific. It could be anyone, your neighbor, best friend, brother, sister? The possibilities are endless. There’s just one thing out of the entire novel that seemed to bother me and I don’t necessarly know if it’s done on purpose because I have received an ARC it’s not the complete finished product but I’ll comment on it anyway. The book’s sentence structure is good but at the beginning of them they are not capitalized but certain words are, which I guess if you think about it, they would make perfect sense because they’re the most important part of the book (the capitalized words) because everything else is irrelevant to the character. Overall this book was really good. Ostow honestly blew me away and continues to keep me awake at night with this horrifying view of people that are beyond repair. Kudos! I give this novel 4 out of 5 paws.
What’s the most horrifying book you’ve read? Lemme know in the comment section below!
That Chick That Reads