Book Review- Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

I can’t cite the title of this book properly and that really bothers me. Anyway, I love to read. I have been reading since BEFORE I was in kindergarten, and I hold the all-time record of reading the most books in grade one.  I think that makes me qualified enough to judge books; except I’m not going to do this the normal way. You can look up the plot synopsis on Google at any point in time. I’m going to give you my personal take on the book. I’m also going to include a list of quotes and why they mean something to me. I’m even going to include proper citations, because I am an English nerd.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt was suggested to me by a friend. She says she suggests it to everyone, and I think it is definitely worth the read. The chapters are pretty short, so if you’re not one to sit down for long periods of time, this is very beneficial. It deals with the subject of AIDs when it first sprouted in the world, and it was a taboo subject. It is told through the eyes of June Elbus, a fourteen year old girl who is grieving the death of her beloved Uncle Finn. When I first started reading, I think I accidently skimmed over the parts where it mentioned the year, because I was very confused at why AIDs was such a big deal. Just to clarify, it takes place in 1987. It says so right on the back of the book. I expected this book to be a lot sadder than it actually was. I teared up on only one occasion. There are a lot of family issues, and family is something that I hold dear to my heart; especially the sister parts. The quotes I picked are a lot more telling of the book than my review is.

Here we go:
1.       “Watching people is a good hobby, but you have to be careful about it. You can’t let people catch you staring at them. If people catch you, they treat you like a first-class criminal. And maybe they’re right to do that. Maybe it should be a crime to try to see things about people they don’t want you to see” (4).
I am a people watcher. When I go to the library at school, I pick a table that’s perfectly situated so that I can watch the people come in and out of the doors. So I’ve noticed things. Things like the look of pure concentration on someone’s face when they start getting into the thing they’re reading. Things like receiving a text from someone and smiling a smile that is meant for that person’s texts only. Things like a slight eye roll or a frustrated glare. I’ve noticed these things without anyone notice me. When June says this, I agreed. I had never thought about people watching like this before. Of course I’ve been caught, but thinking about it now, it’s like I’ve seen into the deep, most secret parts of people. We have all made faces that no one is supposed to see. But what if they did? Would it feel like they’ve seen your naked soul?

2.       “I stared out the car window and understood that I was in a place where nobody knew my heart even a little bit” (25).
I found myself reading this and understanding it perfectly. This is what it feels like to be in a large amount of people, but feel alone. I have gone through my life without having a friend group to fit into. My last year of high school was hard without my best friend around (she’s a year older). So I get it. I know what it’s like to have no one around that can understand you. It’s basically like this.

3.       “I thought that if I was drowning in an ocean, Finn would be like a strong, polished wooden ship with sails that always caught the wind. And Toby? Well, Toby was more like a big yellow rubber raft that might pop at any moment. But maybe he’d still be there” (186).
I think we all need to take a second and just think about this quote. We need to think about those people who maybe are not the best at comforting or not the most stable people in general, but they are the people that only want to give their support and love to you. These people should be appreciated more. Maybe they can’t help themselves, but at least they want to try and help you.

4.       “If you always make sure you’re exactly the person you hoped to be, if you always make sure you know only the very best people, then you won’t care if you die tomorrow” (203).
As hard as it can be to accept, this quote is 100% true. At one point in my life, I started cutting out the people that were bringing me down. And you know what? I was happier. I was happier. You need to surround yourself with people that will raise you up. It makes being you easier. I have kept a firm hold on who I am because I have the best people in my life that bring out the best in me, or challenge me to become a better me. No one holds me back or brings me down. Try it, I promise you it will help.

5.       “You can build a whole world around the tiniest of touches” (279).
This quote is about the beginnings of a relationship. It made me sigh, because I started thinking about the last time I had a crush on a guy. If he ever accidently (or purposely) touched me, I would remember exactly how it felt for hours. A hand on a back, a finger on an arm, a foot against a know what I’m talking about.

6.       “Like he’s swallowed the sun” (327).
This is about someone’s magical laugh. I just thought it was a brilliant simile. I can almost hear the melodious manner in which this individual would laugh, and how much I would want to hear them laugh again.

On my scale, one star is boring and I cannot understand it and five stars is life changing and jaw dropping-ly brilliant. I give this book 4/5 stars. It is a fantastic read, but did not shatter my being. I suggest this one for sure!

I read every night, so I can shut my brain off before going to sleep. I try to read 2 chapters a night. The next book I’m planning to read doesn’t have chapter numbers so I’m not sure how long I’m going to take to post another review. If you have any book suggestions for me, leave me a comment!


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