Amy, a sixteen-year-old recovering from an abusive relationship, moves to the country to start a new life with her aunt–all she wants is for everything to be different. In the clearing at the back of Aunt Mae’s property, she makes an amazing discovery—Henry, a boy stuck in the endless summer of 1944. Henry and his world become Amy’s refuge and she begins to learn that some moments are worth savoring. But when the past and present come crashing together, both of them must find the courage to face what is meant to be, even if it means losing each other forever.
Character Development: 8/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
Total Score: 56/70
Age Appropriate? PG13
Alcohol, Drugs, etc.: Yes, at a party. Main character doesn't take part, though.
Sexual Content: Discussed, but no explicit details
Disturbing Images/ Violence: Mentions of abuse
The Clearing isn't just a silly little teenage romance book. It's about growing up, learning how to love, and learning how to be strong even when it's the difficult thing to do. (Did I make that sound cheesy?) Because really, I appreciate the fact that the story has so many layers.
The imagery is so absolutely vivid it is impossible not to feel a part of this story. I can just taste buttery biscuits, feel the hot sun on my face, and hear the windy rain. And it's not the over-descriptive kind of detail that drags on for ages, either. The voice contributed heavily to that. The easy-going, unique and fresh voice carries the tale along beautifully.
My only two complaints are that 1) It seemed that Amy and Henry don't know much about each other. They knew some, yes, but more would be nice, just to make the reader love them that much more. And 2) The ending is terribly vague. Terribly. I felt like there's still so much that needs explaining.
In a nutshell, though, The Clearing is a beautifully written, quick and lovely read. The setting is a wonderful back drop to the story, and the juxtaposition of Henry's time and Amy's is exponentially intriguing. Anywho, if you get a chance, pick this book up and give it a whirl. You won't regret it.