i have always been broken.
i could have. died.
and maybe it would have been better if i had.
It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda Jensen hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and—best of all—a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry’s family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs. And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go.
Told in episodic verse, family is a fictionalized exploration of cult dynamics, loosely based on the Manson Family murders of 1969. It is an unflinching look at people who are born broken, and the lengths they’ll go to to make themselves “whole” again.
This book is creepy. So, so creepy. I wanted to read it fast just so I could get out of the world because it scared me so much. Micol Ostow is a fabulous writer and I applaud her for writing this book because if I were writing it, I probably would have gone crazy.
This is one of my favorite novels so far this year because it is so raw and haunting. I mean, look at the cover. Really look at it. Take in everything, because when I first saw it I didn’t take in everything about it. I didn’t notice those blood stains. It’s a perfect representation of this brilliant piece of literature.
Henry was one of the most scary of all the characters. The way Melinda and her “family” idolized him was creepy in itself. I found it incredibly hard to get through Family because of it being about a cult, I was scared to read more. I think it is a book that needed to be released into the world of Young Adult literature because it can teach a lot about cults and society in general.
I think that every teen (and adult) should read Family. It is haunting, raw, and completely addicting. Micol Ostow wrote one of the best YA books of 2011 so far.