Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
Anke's father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she's just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether.
Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. When she learns to yell "Mine!" to call a ball, she finds a voice she didn't know existed.
For the first time, Anke is seen and heard. Soon, she's imagining a day that her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home--including herself.
Because I Am Furniture is written in verse, and it works. It's quite a powerful novel that deals with an interesting subject: child abuse. Of course, we've seen it, read it, heard it all before. But Anke's not the one being abused, she's the witness of the abuse, which is probably equally as tough.
Even though it's a thick enough book, because it's in verse, it goes very quickly. I was able to read it in one day, almost in one go. I however, thought that maybe it was a little too short. There perhaps wasn't as much depth and detail as I may have liked. It describes her life, her experiences with volleyball, her journey to finding the strength to speak out. But that's really it. I would have liked to learn about more of the characters' opinions. Exactly why her father abused them, why no one really did anything. I mean, obviously the family was scared of the father. But... I just think there could have been more to it.
It's a very simple book in that way. There isn't really that much other stuff or subplots. It isn't really a bad thing, but well... I thought there would be more to it.
I do like the change in Anke. I like how at first she's timid and frankly a little weak, but as she plays volleyball, her confidence grows and grows. She learns a lot and I like the fact that it comes from a sport, in this case volleyball. Through volleyball, Anke discovers a strength and beauty within herself, and others notice. For instance, she attracts the attention of males now, including her father. Which is disgusting.
Overall, it's a great fast read that encourages one to be able to stop abuse. It reminded me a little of North of Beautiful, but with a lot less. But the abuse is the same, always from the father. Why is that? Or maybe I just haven't read a lot of books with an abusive mother, except for Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen.
Read it if you like verse. Read it if you're interesting in learning and understanding more of child abuse. Read it if you want to be able to feel good at the end. Read it if you want to feel empowered.
6 hours ago