Thank you to NetGalley for a free digital copy to review – all opinions are my own!
From the first chapter, the reader is introduced to all the things: cancer, death, drugs, poverty, racism, prison, ghosts, absentee parents, hate crimes, and murder. Ward masterfully weaves all these themes into a tale that is irresistible and hard-to-put-down.
At first glance, it would seem that the reader would automatically sympathize with JoJo, the thirteen-year-old that seems to carry the weight of the world on his young shoulders. And the reader does! My heart broke into a million pieces over and over again because the injustice of what his life is just tore me up inside.
Also at first glance, it would seem the reader would automatically hate JoJo’s mother, Leonie, because she is a druggie and selfish and lacks one single ounce of motherly goodness. However, Ward nails each character’s perspective so well that I was full of empathy and compassion for Leonie – flaws and all.
By the end of the book, I couldn’t help but sit back in awe of the masterpiece book I held in my hands. Ward packs it full of drama and hurt and pain – challenging the reader to love a book that isn’t perfectly tied up in a pretty bow by the time the last page is read. The characters made their imprints on my heart and continue to quietly nudge themselves into my thoughts and musings – never quite leaving me. I imagine I’ll be visited by them from time to time for a long time to come!
Sing, Unburied, Sing will be released on September 5, 2017, so make sure you mark your calendars! You won’t want to miss out on this beautiful story!