Charm & Strange
by Stephanie Kuehn [YA Kuehn]
I can't say much about the plot of Charm & Strange because really anything I'd say would spoil it for the reader, but I am able to talk about the main character. The chapters alternate between Drew/Win, Drew is the angry young boy who was forced to spend a summer with his family where something horrible occurred, while Win is a lonely teenager who has spent the last few years at a remote boarding school, hiding dark secrets about is childhood and even the person he is. I will admit that I didn't enjoy reading Charm & Strange. As the reader you are kept in the dark and are really discovering Win's past and what is wrong with him as the story progresses, which at times was very frustrating to me. The writing is impeccable, Kuehn's prose does an amazing job at putting the reader in the mind of Win and Drew and draws us a picture of a very injured and wronged boy. I didn't like Win as a main character, but by the end I realized I didn't have to. Win isn't a character to like, he is someone who you are meant to understand, to learn. Charm & Strange is by far the most allusive and poignant young adult book I have read recently, if not ever. The ending brought the mystery of what happened to young Drew and why Win is mentally scared the way he is, to a close and while not a happy ending, it was by far the best and most satisfying way to end the story. This book will not please every reader, and is not a book to go into looking for a happy ending, but it is a book that will leave the reader with a strong and lasting mark. -- recommended by Wyatt P. - Gere Branch Library
[ official Stephanie Kuehn web site ]
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