Saturday, August 31, 2013

Review: Brother, Brother by Clay Carmichael

Brother, Brother
After his grandmother's death, seventeen-year-old Brother sets out, with the abandoned son of a friend, on a 200-mile trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks to find his twin brother, of whose existence he just learned.

Part coming-of-age story, part love story, this is a book about finding out that who you are and where you come from aren't necessarily the same thing.
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Kat's  Review
When Brother sets out to find the twin he never knew he had, the reader gets a good idea of his personality. He's a simple teen, raised to be self-sufficient, conscientious, and kind by his grandmother. He's a loyal friend, and knows how to take care of himself. Losing his grandmother meant he was losing the only family he had, until he found out about his long lost family.
The family Brother never knew is much different from the one he lost. Rich, powerful, and political , his long lost brother seems to have it all. But as Brother gets closer to them and begins to learn their secrets, he's no longer certain that he didn't have the better life. His brother is rude, arrogant, and deeply hurt. His relationship with his father is strained, and no one seems at ease in his household.
I have mixed feelings about this book. The characters are well drawn, and the storyline is interesting. It's clear that clay Carmichael is a gifted writer. The setting sets the mood, and no one is who they seem except for Brother himself and the girl he meets along the way. It's a story about what makes a family, how we become who we are, and where our loyalties lie.
If I have a complaint, it's that I kind of found it to be anti-climactic. I can't decide if that's a good thing or not because while overdone, overwrought, overly dramatic books are everywhere and can sometimes be eye-roll inducing, this book left me feeling as though there was something more that wasn't included. I like quiet, understated books, and this one certainly fits the bill, so my complaint is a small one in the context of a book that I really enjoyed.
Rating: Worth a Look
I would certainly recommend this novel, but not to everyone. If you are a reader who needs a lot of action and drama, this book isn't for you. Much of the novel deals with Brother's introspective journey to figure out who he really is and where he belongs. If you like a bit of a deeper read and don't mind finding it in the form of a teenage protagonist, you might appreciate this book. I did.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.

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