Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012.

“This novel is unflinching in its portrayal of adult irresponsibility and neglect as well as the emotional, psychological, and physical toll of abuse…an absorbing, sympathetic new novel.” –Booklist

Hand Me Down, which recalls the gritty power of Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, is fiction with the ring of truth.” –San Jose Mercury News

Hand Me Down is a gritty tale of a determined young woman who really wants to make a better life for herself and protect the little sister she dearly loves. It is also a story of triumph over desperation and the ignorance of those who live in the world of selfishness. The experiences shared by Thorne have the feel of reality and propel the reader into the mind of a teen hoping to overcome the mistakes of her parents.” –Deseret News

“The emotions are raw and, ultimately, inspiring.” –Daily Candy

“Thorne sounds utterly liberated as she describes the merits of exploring fact through fiction… With the clear-eyed honesty of a Daniel Woodrell or Bonnie Jo Campbell character, Liz describes the pain of being a young person among careless, thrill-seeking men and hardworking, wounded women.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“A sad, compelling read.” –People

 

“Thorne’s debut will strike an emotional chord with anyone who’s ever been an overlooked child (to put it mildly), and teenage Liz — by far the most adult member of her family — is a role model for survivors.” –East Bay Express

“Thorne populates her pages with characters who are fascinating and sharply drawn. . . . Liz . . . a wise, wry, wonderful heroine . . . continues to narrate her journey with prose that vibrates with intelligence and passion.” –Kirkus (starred review)

“Thorne writes convincingly from an adolescent’s perspective, admitting to having mined her own experiences. The family is believably and sadly dysfunctional, and readers will empathize with each character through their highs and lows…this is an intriguing first outing by a talented new writer.” –Publishers Weekly

“Debut novelist Thorne is at her best in the evocative descriptions of place–the frozen beauty of a Utah winter, the prosaic decor of a suburban household…Thorne deals sensitively with a difficult topic and the novel’s adolescent perspective is sure to find popularity with YA audiences.” –Library Journal

“Melanie Thorne’s debut novel is raw with emotion as she describes Liz’s often futile efforts to protect her sister and herself from the predator their mother has invited into their lives. It is often hard to remember that this is, in fact, a novel and not a memoir… Thorne’s novel is an eye-opener… she leaves the reader haunted by a nagging question: What happens to the children who are not so lucky?” –M. L. Johnson, Associated Press

“Elizabeth is a tough and tender heroine for the ages. A few pages in her voice are all it takes to make us determined to see her through.” –Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted and Cowboys Are My Weakness

“The prose here is sharp, fresh, deeply felt, and grimly funny.” –Clifford Chase, author of Winkie

“Compelling, heart wrenching, and ultimately redemptive.” –Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of the Elm Creek Quilts novels

“The novel is sad, strong, evocative as hell, and altogether terrific. Liz emerges as quite a likeable and unlikely hero.” –John Lescroart, author of The Hunter and Damage

“Hand Me Down celebrates the strength of the individual over adversity…The novel is a must read for adolescents whose situations are similar to Liz’s, as well as for adults who work with young people. While the story is horrific in parts, Liz, like Melanie, ultimately triumphs, and that message is truly inspirational.” –Woman Around Town

Blogger Reviews:

“Hand Me Down is by far one of the most poignant and honest looks into the effects of abuse on a family…Heartbreaking, saddening, poignant and real- this is a stand-out story that should not be missed.” —Twisting the Lens

“I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to describe how much this book moved me. I could feel the pain Liz was going through each time I turned the page…I was incredibly touched by this book and will tell every single one of my friends they need to give this book a read.” —Find Me in a Book

“With Hand Me Down Melanie Thorne tells such a believable story that leaves you feeling raw and uplifted all at the same time….she shows what a talented writer can do.” —Chapters and Chats 

Hand Me Down is truly a moving and empowering story, one I think everyone should read.” —Confessions of a Vi3t Babe

“This book was pretty fantastic. I thought it would be one I’d only read just a little at a time because it’s somewhat heavy reading but the second day I picked it up I ended up reading the whole thing. It sucked me in and I totally and completely ached for Liz…I also felt the author threw in enough positive that it kept the book from feeling too depressing.  I even giggled a time or two…Overall this was a fabulous book that felt absolutely true and real.” —Candace’s Book Blog 

Thorne did an excellent job with her characters; readers will forget they’re merely people on a page…It’s a semi-autobiographical debut novel that is absolutely worth reading.” —S Krishna’s Books

“I appreciated the author’s storytelling abilities as well as her prose, but it was the character development of Liz that really stood out to me. I thought Ms. Thorne did a wonderful job of creating a realistic and likable teen, and it was her honest voice that really captured my heart.” —Booking Mama

“It took great courage to write this intimate novel…Clearly, this young protagonist is a survivor who has not been destroyed by her experiences. Unfortunately, there are too many of these stories, too many children left to fend for themselves. Thorne is their voice.” —Curled Up with a Good Book

“Liz is well developed and easy to sympathise with, and she’s surrounded by a couple of great supporting characters. The plot is gripping…I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about serious social issues.” —Owl Tell You About It

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