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Summary and book reviews of How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

How to Make Friends with the Dark

by Kathleen Glasgow

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow X
How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow
  • Critics' Opinion:

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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2019, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2020, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
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About this Book

Book Summary

A novel about love and loss and learning how to continue when it feels like you're surrounded by darkness.

Here is what happens when your mother dies.

It's the brightest day of summer and it's dark outside. It's dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.

That's how it feels for Tiger. It's always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger's mother dies. And now it's Tiger, alone.

Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.

I find the bills by accident, stuffed underneath a pile of underwear in the dresser my mother and I share. Instead of clean socks, my hands come away with a thick stack of envelopes marked Urgent, Last Notice, Contact Immediately.

My heart thuds. We don't have a lot, we never have, but we've made do with what my mom makes as the county Bookmobile lady and from helping out at Bonita's daycare. Come summer, we've got the Jellymobile, but that's another story.

You don't hide things in a drawer unless you're worried.

Mom's been on the couch since yesterday morning, cocooned in a black-and-red wool blanket, sleeping off a headache.

"Mom," I say, loudly. "Mommy."

No answer. I check the crooked clock on the wall. Forty minutes until zero period.

We're what my mom likes to call "a well-oiled, good-looking, and good-smelling machine." But I need the other half of my machine to beep and whir at me, and to do all that other stuff moms are supposed to do. If I don't have her, I don't have anything. It's...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Glasgow uses Tiger's gaze to look not only inward at her own grief, but through a wider lens to account for other kinds of grief, loss and pain too. The result is powerful, and a must-read for anyone who needs language with which to discuss loss...continued

Full Review Members Only (562 words).

(Reviewed by Michelle Anya Anjirbag).

Media Reviews

BookPage (starred review)
An honest and extremely harrowing read.

Booklist
[A] standout....Tiger's distinctive, haunting voice will be hard to forget.

Kirkus Reviews
A gritty, raw account of surviving tragedy one minute at a time.

Author Blurb Karen M. McManus, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret
A rare and powerful novel, How to Make Friends with the Dark dives deep into the heart of grief and healing with honesty, empathy, and grace.

Author Blurb Julie Buxbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things
In this raw, powerful, and heartbreaking meditation on loss and grief, Glasgow writes with unflinching beauty. We meet Tiger Tolliver at her most broken—at her darkest moment—and yet, somehow, How to Make Friends with the Dark teaches us how to let the light in.

Author Blurb Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe
How to Make Friends with the Dark is breathtaking and heartbreaking, and I loved it with all my heart. It's for all of us who have loved and lost and need to find our power again.

Author Blurb Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie
A bold, fearlessly crafted story of loss and love. Kathleen Glasgow's prose commands the page with its trademark beauty and grace, and Tiger Tolliver is a character readers will root for every step of the way—and won't soon forget.

Author Blurb Kara Thomas, author of The Cheerleaders
Kathleen Glasgow is the rare type of skilled storyteller that knows you have to hurt your characters before putting them back together. I loved every word of this lyrical and devastating novel.

Author Blurb Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of Broken Beautiful Hearts
Gripping, powerful, and full of truth—an emotional level many novelists strive to reach, but few achieve.

Author Blurb Tiffany Jackson, author of Allegedly and Monday's Not Coming
A visceral, gut-wrenching, and heartbreaking take on the grieving process. I cried within the first fifty pages. You'll want to hug Tiger and never let her go. Kathleen has done it again!

Author Blurb Brendan Kiely, New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys and Tradition
Magnificent. A beautiful, heartbreaking alleluia to survival.

Author Blurb Meg Leder, author of Letting Go of Gravity
A book as fierce, tender, and rare as its aptly named heroine, Tiger. How to Make Friends with the Dark is a gorgeously nuanced meditation on grief and family, and the incredible love that can pull you through the darkest of times.

Author Blurb Alyssa Sheinmel, New York Times bestselling author of A Danger to Herself and Others
Beautifully written and profoundly moving. From page one, Tiger Tolliver grabs your heart with her pain, her courage, her humor—and she doesn't let go. Tiger, Cake, and Thaddeus (and Mae-Lynn, and Shayna, and Lupe, and LaLa, and Sarah, and Leonard, and June ... all of Glasgow's deeply wrought characters) will stay with me for a long time to come.

Author Blurb Alyssa Sheinmel, New York Times bestselling author of A Danger to Herself and Others
Beautifully written and profoundly moving. From page one, Tiger Tolliver grabs your heart with her pain, her courage, her humor—and she doesn't let go. Tiger, Cake, and Thaddeus (and Mae-Lynn, and Shayna, and Lupe, and LaLa, and Sarah, and Leonard, and June ... all of Glasgow's deeply wrought characters) will stay with me for a long time to come.

Author Blurb Lygia Day Peñaflor, author of All of This Is True and Unscripted Joss Byrd
Tiger Tolliver is so vulnerable and real, you'll want to turn your porch light on and have the spare room ready for her. In How to Make Friends with the Dark, Kathleen Glasgow's prose begs and pleads and grasps at the light, like a prayer.

Author Blurb Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, author of The Smell of Other People's Houses
Lyrical, devastating, witty and raw—this is Kathleen Glasgow at her best. Her fans will not be disappointed to fall in love with Tiger Tolliver, no matter how much she breaks their hearts.

Author Blurb Estelle Laure, author of But Then I Came Back and This Raging Light
This story hauls you into its heart to live the pain in all its careening, messy, and miraculous glory. A brilliant, honest, raw look at what it really means to lose someone essential and make grudging peace with what is gained in the exchange. You will never forget Tiger Tolliver. Not ever.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Foster Care

Statistics about the number of children in foster care In Kathryn Glasgow's How to Make Friends with the Dark, 16-year-old Tiger learns that her mother is dead, and almost equally upsetting, she can't even go somewhere familiar to stay while she figures out how to adjust to being an orphan; with no known father or other relatives, she is relegated to the legal responsibility of the state of Arizona and uprooted from the life and the people she knew. Though she is given a grace period of one night in her home, she is then taken to a series of foster homes. I think most readers will find the immediate removal of any agency from the teenager just as jarring as Tiger herself does. She is thrust out of the push and pull of normal adolescent rebellion with her mother into a situation that requires ...

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