Monday, July 15, 2013

Spotlight: Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde

 
 

Synopsis:
 
Meet Jordy. He’s on his own in New York City. Nobody to depend on; nobody depending on him. And it’s been working fine.
Until this girl comes along. She’s 18 and blond and pretty–her world should be perfect. But she’s seen things no one should ever see in their whole life–the kind of things that break a person. She doesn’t seem broken, though. She seems . . . innocent. Like she doesn’t know a whole lot. Only sometimes she does.
The one thing she knows for sure is that the world is an ugly place. Now her life may depend on Jordy proving her wrong. So they hit the road to discover the truth–and there’s no going back from what they find out.
This deeply felt, redemptive novel reveals both the dark corners and hidden joys of life’s journey–and the remarkable resilience of the human soul 
 
My Thoughts: 



When you finish a book and it looks like this...it's a clear indication that the book rocked.
Never Let Me Go had been my favorite Catherine Ryan Hyde book for a while now, but Becoming Chloe swept right in and stole it's place in my heart. I didn't think that would happen, but Becoming Chloe just grabs ahold of you the in the first paragraph and doesn't let go. Not even when the book ends, as I woke up the next day still thinking about Jordy and Chloe.
 Jordy happens upon Chloe at the worse time in his life. Alone and injured in New York City he comes across Chloe being raped in an alley, and does what he can to stop it. Chloe seems simple minded to say the least, but it could just be a way for her to deal with the trauma's of her past and present. The two forge a bond of friendship that sees them through events I'm sure neither of them could have ever imagined. Jordy, at times, is forced to turn to theft and prostitution just to keep the two of them fed, and a life changing altercation has them leaving New York City to set out on their own. After the death of a man and dog that they both came to care about, Jordy makes it his mission to show Chloe that there is beauty in the world, so they set off cross country to find it.
 
"I remember her saying...maybe you could show me. Maybe she didn't mean just take her to the beautiful places. Maybe she meant show her that they were beautiful. Help her see them through my eyes."
 
From New York to California, Jordy points out the beautiful to Chloe. Whether it's Niagara  Falls, planting a sign on top of a mountain for a stranger who helped them, the Painted Desert, or horse back riding on the beach in Big Sur,  Jordy shows Chloe that there is good in the world, you just have to look for it. As much bad as there is, there's just as much, if not more, good. It's not always easy, and at times it seems easier to just give up, but we weren't promised a good life. We have to find that on our own.
 
Definitely a 5 star read!

Some of my favorite lines:

"I find it touching, almost enviable, that a person with so little feels she has all she needs."

"...if we go all over everywhere and I'm on the lookout for good, I'll find it."

"Total strangers saying hello. If that's not it, where is it? If you cant see it there, you're not trying."

"Even if this was the only thing I ever did in my whole life, it would be worth having a life just to do this."

"Well, the closer you get to heaven, the less air there is, because when you get to heaven for real you don't need to breathe anymore."

"Without her, I might have seen all this and still not known what a beautiful world it is. The saddest fate of all."

"Nobody said it was a beautiful world with no scars."

"It's like once you get that sense that there's no real security, that anything at all can happen to you, then every minute you're okay is a joy. Part of the joy is feeling like you can make your way in a world that isn't always easy."