The Day I Killed James
In the beginning of this book, I wasn't for sure if I was going to like it. The story is told in three parts, switching from journal entries to first person to third and then back. It took me a bit to get into the story, but once I did, I realized that Theresa's story could not be told any other way.
Theresa's guilt is very strong. You can identify with it and feel it. And me, being the person that gets sucked into characters - I just wanted to give the girl a hug. My favorite part was the Part Two of the book, where it switches to third person giving the story the outsider looking into what is going on with her "new" life. This is what really grabbed me into the book and made me want to continue to read.
The main thing you can take from this that we have to be careful with what we do or say. Because sometimes without meaning it, our actions will speak louder than words and hurt those around us. There is no doubt that Catherine Ryan Hyde is truly a talented writer and has a way with words. This being the first book (I've been running into a lot of first times with authors lately), I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
James loves Theresa. Unfortunately Theresa doesn't feel the same way about him. They both know the situation, so when Theresa needs a date to a party James is more than willing to go as her date. He knows she is using him, but he wants to take her anyway, and this is where things go horribly wrong. Because of this one night neither of their lives will ever be the same again.
Once you start reading the first page of this book you will be hooked. Throughout all the sadness and struggle, no matter how hard you want to put this book down to avoid the pain you can't, it's like a magnet is pulling you into the story. The reason for this is the writing. After reading Pay it Forward i knew Catherine Ryan Hyde was a brilliant writer, but this book blew me away. The plot flawlessly twisted and took some turns that i never would have expected, but seemed prefect for this story. Anyone who hasn't read this book really needs to.
IT WASNT SUPPOSED to end up like this. But it did.
When Theresa brings James to a party as her date, its just for the night . . . and he knows that. But when everything goes horribly wrong, James drives his motorcycle off a cliffand Theresa knows shes responsible for his death.
Theresa tries to run away from the pain, becoming a new young woman with a whole new life. She meets people, of course, but she never really makes connectionsshes too scared shell hurt them, too. But what Theresa discovers is that you can try to run away from the painbut you can never really run away from yourself. The only way out is through.
This book was amazing. I couldn't put it down. The characters were amazing. The main character Theresa goes on a journey to try to forgive herself having a part in James death while she tries to find herself. All the characters had problems that they hid beneath their facade.The book stays with you even after you've put it down. It felt real and it had hidden truths in it.Catherine Hyde Park is an amazing author. She writes how love can be both a great and bad thing. It also shows how love can be hurtful . I can't say enough wonderful things about this book.
Theresa tells James that their party date is a one-time thing. Shes only using him to make her maybe-ex-boyfriend jealous. It works, but Theresa breaks James heart in the process, and he drives his motorcycle of a cliff, dying of suicide. Theresas entire world collapses, and she blames herself for James death. She severs ties with her old life, and tries to reinvent herself, all in an attempt to atone for what she did to James. Slowly though, through meeting a girl very similar to herself, Theresa begins to realize that she cant keep running away forever.
Once again, Catherine Ryan Hyde writes a beautiful story about learning to live with what youve done. The story was incredibly sad, because Theresa kept blaming herself for killing James, even though it wasnt entirely her fault, and even though Theresas only eighteen-years-old, this ages and matures her. Theresas character and journey to self-forgiveness is very realistic, and I was so relieved with the hopeful ending. The Day I Killed James is truly a heartfelt, well-written, and unforgettable story, and one I will not likely forget.
The Day I Killed James is probably my favorite of Catherine Ryan Hydes novels so far, and I most definitely recommend it. The topic of death is never an easy one to write about, and I rank this novel high among others of this topic, including Saving ZoÃ« by Alyson NoÃ«l, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin.
reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
It is hard to find words to describe The Day I Killed James. It is a compelling and absorbing book in many ways. The plot is one I'm not sure I could really describe except as an inner journey.
The characters are what really propels this book forward. This is definitely for people who, like me, love character driven novels. I felt that I truly understood the actions and choices of the protagonist. I did not once feel she was acting irrational, stupid, or that she should just get over it.
The only thing I didn't like was that I didn't get to understand secondary characters as well as the main character. Considering the role she played in the novel, I felt that I never really got to understand Cathy the way I did Theresa or James.
Catherine Ryan Hyde is able to reveal many truths about people and life through the protagonist's journey. Even though the book contains these philosophical ideas or lessons, it never gets preachy. They are more suggestions or new ways to view things that gently guide the protagonist on her journey.
As it is pointed out in the novel, we just don't know what is going on inside other people because we're only inside ourselves. I think that idea sums up the novel nicely because it is showing that even though people may appear to act irrationally or stupidly, there are underlying causes that we just don't understand because we're not that person and never will be.