Hey, guys! Long time, no talk huh? Sorry for the bit of a hiatus. Life got a little crazy for awhile. But I’m back and I’m so happy about it!
Author: Helen Frost
Published: May 10th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Poetry, YA, Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 5/5
“None of it was our fault.”
“When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra’s father steals a minivan. He doesn’t know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.
Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth—that is, if they’re willing to reveal to each other the stories that they’ve hidden for so long. Told from alternating viewpoints, this novel-in-poems reveals the complexities of memory and the strength of a friendship that can overcome pain.”
Hidden is one of the hundreds of books I have randomly put in my cart when BookOutlet was having a massive sale. It looked interesting and it was probably less than 2 dollars.
It’s also one of those books I picked up off my shelf as a palette cleanser, something to get me out of my post ACOMAF funk.
I must say, Hidden was probably one of my better cheap and random choices. It’s short, taking just a couple hours to read it, and it’s interesting in a way that goes beyond plot.
Not to say the plot isn’t interesting. The story line of a girl being accidentally kidnapped, escaping, and later meeting her kidnapper’s daughter at camp, is quite unique. But it’s Frost’s storytelling and stylization that really steals the show.
The book is told in alternating POV chapters between both girls, and the voices are so different between them. Beyond voices though, Frost gives each character their own style of writing. Wren is written in free verse and Darra has a unique writing style that Frost invented for this book, (which I will elaborate on in just a second).
Even if you aren’t one for alternating POV’s (let’s be honest, Divergent might have ruined that for a lot of us), Frost really created a distinction between each character that in undeniable. There isn’t much of a chance of getting them confused.
Now about that special writing style Frost created. In the back of the book is a “notes on form” page that gives light to this stylization. After reading the book (and I recommend reading it completely first) you can go back through Darra’s story and the “last words of the long lines, when read down the right side of the page” tell their own story. So although you get more of Wren’s story in the plot, this little stylization gives you more of Darra that you might have been craving.
As I was writing this review I actually changed my rating from a 4.5 to a 5 because I was realizing just how brilliant Frost is. You don’t need a long novel to build a story. I think she created something beautiful. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It will take you less than a day to read it, so pick it up. I feel like it needs more love.
Have you read Hidden by Helen Frost? What were your thoughts on her unique stylization?