Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: Carry Me Away by Robb Grindstaff

How do you tell a thirteen year old girl that her time is limited here on Earth? How would you react to the news that you probably only have one year left, maybe two? You might be lucky to extend that into five years, but you will most likely spend the last four as a vegetable.

What would you do? Thirteen years old, and your life has barely started, and because of an accident, it’s already being deemed over.

This is what Carrie is facing after a car accident. Her brother Sammy died in the car; he was the driver. Carrie survived, but the prognosis is… not good. Going through doctor after doctor to get new opinions, to receive some kind of confirmation that all isn’t lost, Carrie is losing not only her patience, but her hope as well. Right until Dr. Lucy Menendez comes in the picture. She stabilizes Carrie and gives her a better prognosis. Still, Carrie can only hope to get into her twenties. If she’s lucky.

Suddenly Carrie is busy growing up, faster and faster. First it’s High school, then College – but then what? Will she even make it that far?

This story moved me to the core. I felt heartbroken by what happened to Carrie. To see her wanting to grow up so fast, just to be able to call herself an adult… But I her rush to become an adult, she forgets the most important thing; to live. Some of the things that happen to her… *winces* I understand her desire to become an adult, to become a “grown-up”, but she literally forgets to protect herself. To the point where she can remember her classes, but she can’t remember when to take her pills and when to eat. She even finds true love, but due to her fears, that she knows she won’t survive for long, she decides to end it before it gets too serious. I know this is going to sound weird, but…Carrie is afraid of letting go of her death sentence.

 I could go on for a long time about my feelings for Carry Me Away, but in reality, I can sum up everything easily; Robb Grindstaff made me stop for a second and listen. We’re all running around being busy today, but why? For what? In Carries case, she wanted desperately to be able to call herself an adult, what is our excuse? If we don’t enjoy the ride, what’s the point? Robb created a masterpiece, and for me, it made me truly realize that if we can’t enjoy the ride, if we don’t create any happy memories, what are we here for?

Carry Me Away is powerful, heart wrecking, emotional, eye opening story. Certainly a must read.

Carrie Destin, a biracial military brat, learns the injuries she sustained in a car accident will prove fatal before she reaches adulthood. She accelerates her life and sets aggressive goals: college, connecting with her Japanese roots, and the all-consuming desire to find her soul mate. A kid from nowhere, she travels the world with her Marine father and Japanese mother.

Facing an abbreviated life with a brash attitude and a biting, sometimes morbid sense of humor, Carrie races to graduate high school at age fifteen. College is her marker of adulthood, when she can smoke in public and order dessert before dinner. She tosses out her adolescent wedding scrapbook for a funeral plan. A teenage crush on Paul, a family friend and a widower seventeen years her senior, develops into a fantasy that takes on a life of its own.

As she outlives the original prognosis into her early twenties, her life goals evolve—always short-term. The longing for love stays constant, yet she walls herself off from others. Relationships end in betrayal, abandonment and violence. When love reveals itself, she pulls away, fearing that an early meeting with Death is on the horizon.

Carrie’s frantic desire to experience life before it ends spirals out of control, leading to a physical and emotional collapse. Her grandmother’s wisdom points her toward acceptance, but first she must break through her walls before she can give the gift of ‘til-death-do-us-part.

Robb Grindstaff's highly anticipated second novel, CARRY ME AWAY, publishes on September 23, 2013, through Evolved Publishing (print and ebook).

His acclaimed debut novel, HANNAH'S VOICE, launched January 2013 to rave reviews.

He has had more than a dozen short stories published in various anthologies and magazines, including the award-winning DESERT RAIN, his only horror story. Several of his articles on the craft of writing fiction have appeared in professional writing and editing publications and websites in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

Robb's career as a newspaper editor, publisher, and manager has taken him from Phoenix, Arizona, to small towns in North Carolina and Texas, and from seven years in Washington, D.C., to five years in Asia. He now resides in a small community in Wisconsin where he manages a daily newspaper. The variety of places he has lived and visited serve as settings for the characters who invade his head.

Robb has edited fiction and non-fiction for published, agented, and indie authors from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, Europe and the Middle East.


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