Kaur succeeds in taking both the most difficult parts of being a woman (rape, abuse, heartbreak) and the most excruciatingly beautiful (falling in love – with both yourself and another) and making them into short, one- or two-page poems that perfectly capture the feelings associated with these phenomena.
Turtle Alveston is a complex protagonist dealing with issues ranging from self-identity and growing up to abuse, both physical and mental. She’s 14 years old and already decades more mature than her peers, a tragic side effect of which is she doesn’t understand how to communicate with them.
This book is not like other books in that it makes you incredibly, painfully self-aware. While Yuknavitch grappled with abuse, addiction, and depression in ways I never have, her musings reminded me that life is emotions and feeling and touching and loving, and that sometimes you have to barrel your way blindly into new things until you find exactly what it is you didn’t know you needed.