Protected by Claire Zorn Book Review

I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old.

Hannah’s world is in pieces and she doesn’t need the school counsellor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister, who wouldn’t have problems?

Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn’t afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?

In a family torn apart by grief and guilt, one girl’s struggle to come to terms with years of torment shows just how long old wounds can take to heal.

My rating: 4/5 Stars

Disclaimer:I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Whenever I read books about bullying I am always skeptical. “People can’t possibly be this mean,” I tell myself but then I have to remind myself that I went to a high school with 100 people where everybody knew everyone so my perspective of the world is pretty sheltered. I feel like everyone is tired of hearing about bullying but it’s an important issue that I believe to be still pertinent. It’s especially relevant now because bullies grow up and they suddenly have this enormous amount of power which is just terrifying.

Books like Protected aren’t easy to read and there were more than one moment throughout the novel where I needed to put it down in order to take a little book because damn this book is intense. It’s a very emotional read so definitely be prepared for that. There’s so many interesting layers to the story and everything is addressed wonderfully. You have Hannah’s unbearable grief after her sister dies and her having to deal with the fact that Katie’s her sister- has actually made her life better as the bullying has stopped. There’s also some great family dynamics, not just with her sister but with her mother and father and how Katie’s death has affected them all differently.

I thought it was really interesting to see Hannah’s grief played out. In all the flashbacks,I really hated Katie and honestly there were no redeemable qualities about her but nonetheless her death was really sad and heartbreaking. I think it was a really unique take on grief and I really enjoyed watching Hannah’s conflicting feelings play out.

One thing that I really liked about the book was the character of Josh. From reading the synopsis, it sounded like he would play the role of “love interest who cures her and makes all her problems go away.” but it wasn’t like that at all. He definitely was an important part of the story but he didn’t overtake the story nor did he overtake Hannah. Their friendship and the possibility of something more was adorable but the author left the ending really opening so there was no implication of them falling in love and living happily ever after for the rest of their lives which was so nice. I also found that he was a really different type of love interest- I don’t really know how to explain it but he wasn’t quite like anything I’ve ever seen and it was very refreshing.

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