I liked SO many things about this book. I highlighted more than I EVER have in a book before—amazing quotes! Kate Bassett has an incredible gift. Words and Their Meanings is so well written—I can’t even get over it. This book has the potential to be a runaway bestseller in the YA Fiction market, and I’m sure it will have movie buzz in the future. Anna is a main character in every sense—she’s the star player and other lives revolve around her, but not in typical fashion. Anna is dark, emotional, unstable, honest, immature, and scared. She’s traumatized by the death of Joe (her best friend/bruncle) and believes she is to blame. As a result, she makes herself into a teenage Patti Smith and rebels against all things ‘normal.’ Anna is surrounded by an amazing best friend, a nervous younger sister, a grandpa, and her mom. All the supporting players in Anna’s story are constantly worried about her. The story takes us through Anna’s discovery of secrets—some from Joe, and some from other important characters in her story. Bassett has crafted a beautiful, heart-wrenching, honest tale of grief, love, and finding oneself. I highly recommend Words and Their Meanings to fans of YA Fiction, General Fiction, and stories of working through grief and self-blame. Bassett is an author to keep your eye on. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!
Two of my favorite lines:
Art is an accurate statement of the time in which it is made.
In the long run, you need to understand that people—even the best people—are always more and less than we imagine.
Book Synopsis from Amazon:
Anna O’Mally is a born writer—gifted, perceptive, headed for the stars. Or she was, until the tragic death of her uncle Joe. He was barely older than Anna herself, and she worshipped the ground he walked on. Best of all, Anna got to live in the glow of knowing that she was the most important person in his world, too.
Anna has promised everyone—her shrink, her parents, her best friend—that Joe’s one-year “deadaversary” will be the end of her period of mourning. But when a strange note suggests that her saintly uncle had deep secrets, Anna stumbles into a chain of events that changes everything she thought she knew about the past, the possibilities of love . . . and origami.
“With a compelling voice and evocative prose, Kate Bassett establishes herself as an author to watch.”—Sara Zarr, author of The Lucy Variations and National Book Award winning Story of a Girl
“Bassett’s debut novel scores a hat-trick of literary merit in a strongly crafted and complex plot, deeply drawn characters with palpable grief, and beautifully woven and rich prose.”
—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)
“A heartbreaking and fantastic debut.”—VOYA
Book Synopsis from Goodreads:
Anna O’Mally doesn’t believe in the five stages of grief. Her way of dealing with death equates to daily bouts of coffin yoga and fake-tattooing Patti Smith quotes onto her arms. Once a talented writer, Anna no longer believes words matter, until shocking discoveries– in the form of origami cranes– force her to redefine family and love.
As Anna goes in search of the truth, she discovers that while every story, every human being, has a last line, it might still be possible to find the words for a new beginning.
Words and Their Meanings is set to release 9/8/2014. Consider getting it for the YA Fiction fan in your life!
*I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.