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What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson
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What They Always Tell Us

by Martin Wilson

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Very understated and linear, but with a powerful message about coming out, depression and brotherly relationships. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Very understated and linear, but with a powerful message about coming out, depression and brotherly relationships. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Very understated and linear, but with a powerful message about coming out, depression and brotherly relationships. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
Welcome to this book review !

This book was super profound, I loved the writing style ! I wanted to read a more psychological book for a while and I heard about this book. People told me it was good or seemed good, so I brought it and I am really happy I did buy it ! It was sad, but happy, I loved the self discovery in this book and the fact that you could see a brotherly bond being repared. I loved seeing Alex ( the younger brother who tried to commit suicide), discover more about himself, accepting himself and how much he hated the pity he could see in everyones eyes since the incident. When I fist started reading it, I thout that James(older brother) was such a douche, like really you don't tell someone, just after they tried to commit suicide, about how stupid they are and a "nutcase"... But as the story advanced you could see everything behind it, the blurry lines in the story became thicker and clearer, making you understand the action each character made. It was overall an amazing book, I loved it and plan on reading it a couple of times again, in the future !
I totally recommend this book !

-Bookarina :) ( )
  Karina-Valerie | May 22, 2015 |
What They Always Tell Us is about two brothers stranded on the divide between being "They" - adults - and "Us" - kids. James is a senior and Alex is a junior and both are struggling to see what their lives will hold for them past high school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alex (and his entire family, really) is recovering from a sort-of suicide attempt which has disconnected him from his so-called friends and his brother. Two events help to ignite Alex's interest in life again - he accidentally befriends Henry, the strange 10-year-old who lives across the street, and James' friend Nathen strikes up a friendship through encouraging Alex to join the cross-country team at school. Narration alternates between Alex and James in long contemplative, chapters as they are slowly drawn together again by the mystery surrounding Henry's parentage.

Wilson depicts the feelings and excitment of first love that blossom between Alex and Nathen as well as any author I've read - in this case it just happens to be between two boys. I found the lack of overwhelming angst surrounding the relationship refreshing without being too terribly unrealistic thanks to the boys' realization that they cannot let anyone know about their relationship maybe ever, but certainly not until they leave Alabama. The limited knowledge of the characters was also well conveyed - we never really know the motivations of several secondary characters just as James and Alex wouldn't be able to know their motivations; this means that even though the ending is basically happy, the loose ends aren't all tied up. I did think the secret of Henry's parentage was pretty obvious, but found that a minor flaw. It takes a few chapters to get to know the brothers and to care what happens to them, in part because Wilson's writing keeps us slightly removed. The quiet plot is definitely not action-packed, but this would be perfect for introspective teens and young adults. Overall, I found this highly enjoyable although it's not for every reader - I'm actually surprised it doesn't appear to be on any of the mock award lists I've been looking through. ( )
  JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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To Mom and Dad--for everything

And in loving memory of

Eleanore Hubbard "Lolly" Wilson (1904-1992),

author, artist, and grandmother
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On a Saturday morning in November, Alex finds himself alone for the weekend, so he decides to break a few rules.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385735073, Hardcover)

JAMES AND ALEX have barely anything in common anymore—least of all their experiences in high school, where James is a popular senior and Alex is suddenly an outcast. But at home, there is Henry, the precocious 10-year-old across the street, who eagerly befriends them both. And when Alex takes up running, there is James’s friend Nathen, who unites the brothers in moving and unexpected ways.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Alex feels so disconnected from his friends that he starts his junior year at a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, high school by attempting suicide, but soon, a friend of his older brother draws him into cross-country running and a new understanding of himself.… (more)

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