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Beth B. (New Wilmington, PA)
Not a "riveting" or a "masterful narrative" as back cover states
Sadly, I cannot recommend this book. I stuck with it, knowing that a review was expected and hoping that my interest level would be heightened. The novel left me wanting more from a topic/issues that could have been more richly layered. I found it to be lacking in characterization, saccharine, and simplistic. Women weakly admitted to too many "should haves" rather than acting bravely when support was within grasp. I wanted more depth, more fleshing out of the women who connected due to commonalities. Hannah, at the book's ending, states that "people see what they want to see." I wanted them to see more and include us in their individual and joined journeys.
Bea C. (Liberty Lake, WA)
Safe With Me
I believe that this should be categorized as Young Adult fiction. It examines both sides, the giving and receiving, of a donor liver, but it is more about a woman staying with an abusive husband for reasons an outsider wouldn't understand, like really having no place to go and no means of support, of losing custody of your children because he's too powerful and rich, like feeling that it's your own fault, that he will change. The book is told through the eyes of a teenaged organ transplant recipient and also in third person about her abused mother and the donor's mother.
Jill S. (Eagle, ID)
Safe with me
This book might try to cover too much, like the teenaged liver recipient trying to fit in in high school, her feelings about her abusive father, the mother's emotions, the mother of the liver donor's emotions, but it is a good book for young adults.
This is an emotional, gripping story. It deals with so many social issues--loss of a child, abandonment, domestic violence, and organ donation. Some of these issues were dealt with well in the book, and others were not very realistic. As a result, that's why I gave it 4 stars.
Patricia L. (Seward, AK)
Stay with Safe with Me
It's a quick read, and I found myself in tears throughout this story. Overall, it's a good read, and I'll recommend it.
Safe With Me begins slowly. The first eighty pages are slightly tedious, especially one long paragraph detailing how to play Zombie Wars. A grieving mother donates her daughter's organs after a fatal accident. A year later she thinks she has met the girl who is a recipient and seeks to confirm her suspicions. While there are some improbable relationships, viewed with skepticism initially, they are easily dismissed as the plot develops. Once the settings and characters become familiar the atmosphere charges and the drama of family dysfunction and abuse unravels with chaotic suspense. In the end, Hatvany takes sorrow, grief, abuse, self-respect and acceptance and blends them into a fast paced study of perceptions and reality. This book is recommended for those seeking a suspenseful yet contemplative week-end read.
Modern Issues in a Good Story
This book is a quick read even though the plot revolves around serious issues as wide ranged as single parenthood, organ donation, caring for aging parents, and women caught in abusive relationships. I enjoyed reading this book but did waver at times between a 4 and a 5 rating, wishing there had been a 4.5 halfway point. I guess I like to reserve a 5 rating for books that seem a bit "meatier" (for lack of a better word). The sad opening conflict was described well, and I feel as if the author captured that sensation of disbelief and functioning like a robot during an emotional crisis - -those periods of time that one looks back on and wonders how one got through the initial grief. I did like the way the stories of the two mothers, Olivia and Hannah, were woven together. I immediately foresaw the issues with James, Olivia's then-new boyfriend, on page 15 with his comment about her hair color.I suspect that a lot of females have received those backhanded comments, and this book is a good warning to run the other way no matter how much money is involved. On a totally different issue, and unrelated to my rating of the book as well as something I've never noticed with any other book, the shape of the question marks with this book's font caught my eye and seemed strange.
Lynn W. (Calabash, NC)
Safe With Me
Although this was a bit of a tear jerker, I really did enjoy it. As a mother I think it was possible to relate to most of the storyline. It's a quick read, but not a light one.
Ann S. (Shenandoah, IA)
Safe With Me
Two important topics - one treated very well; the other not as well. Safe with me is a good read. It does remind me to a degree of Jodi Picoult in that the author focuses on current social problems. I thought her handling of the organ donation issue was very well done. Unfortunately, I don't feel her handling of domestic violence was as well done.
Edie M. (Kennett Square, PA)
Hard subjects for a very enjoyable book
I loved reading Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany. There were many things going on that most of us on some level can relate to. This book was an easy/fast read and I enjoyed every second!