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This is a terrific book!

It is about teenage characters, but it has such great depth and is written with so much emotion it pulled me in and kept me glued to the very last page.

Abbie James lives in the shadows of life, letting no one get close to her except for Jo, the one friend who accepts her as she is. Her classmates call her a freak, and because she is submissive and withdrawn, she becomes a target for a couple of girls who bully her.

One day, Jake, a dear friend who had been ripped from her life 10 years earlier when his parents moved and he didn’t have a chance to say good bye to her, enrolls in the school she attends. He has never forgotten her and has dreamed of reconnecting with her again. But having him come back into her life freaks her out and she pushes him away.

He is hurt, but also concerned. The carefree happy child he had known has disappeared.  She has been replaced by an angry, unhappy person and he does not understand what has happened. All he knows is that he still cares for her and she is not returning his feelings. But he is not giving up.

Abbie has a deep and painful secret that she has shared with no one—not Jo, her only friend, not her mother, -NO BODY. The author skillfully unfolds the heart of the matter. This book deals with the sensitive subject of child abuse that lasted over a long period of time and how it affected the heroines life. I have no firsthand experience with this matter, but I read a lot and I observe and listen. People who have been harmed in this way feel damaged and believe they are not good enough. Abbie was no exception.

Congratulations to Mandy Thomas for such a terrific debut novel. Her writing style is wonderful and as I read, the book seemed flawless. I will read the next book she writes.

Hard to Feel whole can be purchased here on Amazon.com