Riding in Cars with Boys by Beverly Donofrio

I’m a little bit in love with this book, and with Bev and Jase. The fact that it’s autobiographical makes it all the more poignant and bittersweet. It’s so honest and brutal that you can’t help being drawn in, and I love the growth and realisation that Bev goes through as she grows up and finally manages to function in the real world.

I kind of wish I’d read it when I was teenager and not working as hard as I should have or thinking about what I really wanted to do with my life, but I’m not sure it would’ve made much difference. I’m learning later on what I truly want, but I’m also learning that that’s okay too; I’ve still got time, I’m young and I can change things and do everything that I want to, have everything that I yearn for. One quote is going to be etched in my mind forever, ‘You’re just handed some things in life that you have no control over, so you’d better learn from them rather than letting them get you,’ p. 169-70. There’s not a better way to say, fuck you world, you’re not going to beat me, I’ll take everything you give and I’ll grow and learn, and I’ll be damned if I don’t.

Although I’ve never been through a lot of what happened to Bev, I understand a lot of what she was thinking and feeling, and am experiencing a lot of those thoughts in my life right now. I feel like this book has been a bit of an education for me. I’m surprised at how much of an effect it’s had on me. This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time and if anyone asks me in fifty years if there were any books that changed my life or set me on the right path, I know this will be one of them.

Read: January 20th-21st 2013

5/5 stars

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