T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he’d lock the door so they’d be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma’s boyfriend got angry at them, he’d try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister out of her bad moods. The only one who understood why she made origami paper cranes and threw them out the window.
But now T.J. is sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, wondering if Angela, unconscious after a fall, will ever wake up. Wondering, too, if he will ever feel at home with his and Angela’s new parents—Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy, and Dan, who seems to want a different son.
Going back and forth between Now and Then, weaving the uncertain present with the painful past, T.J.’s story unfolds, and with the unfolding comes a new understanding of how to move forward
Published: October 1st 2011
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FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ****
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Waiting to Forget but there is no doubt in my mind that it would have exceeded every single expectation that I did have. This was a truly inspiring and emotionally powerful novel which invoked in me feelings that I haven’t felt in a long while. Sheila Welch has written a beautifully moving story from the perspective of a young boy and how he witnesses and understands everything that is going on within his life. It is an absolutely charming read that really forces you to think about how everything affects people, including children, differently.
The story itself is completely compelling and page-turning and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next. I enjoyed the journey that Sheila took me on with her words. It was interesting to see the story unfold and I especially enjoyed seeing it all from the perspective of a young boy. Generally, with these type of stories, you get an omnipresent narrator or that of the view from an adults view and it was refreshing to read something a little different. It definitely opened my eyes a little more and it also made me think about my childhood in interesting ways.
T.J was a truly lovely character and I loved hearing about the world from his view. I liked witnessing his journey, feeling his emotions and watching as he grew up and his personality changed. I loved how good of a brother he was, how protective he was of both his sister and his mother and how strong he was altogether. It is clear to see that he will grow up to be a lovely young man. While I didn’t like the personality of his “Momma”, I loved how real she felt and just how much T.L adored her. I liked how you could see this actually happening in real life and I loved all of the dynamics to her character. Angela, as well, was a lovely character to read and hear about and I felt myself wanting to reach out and hug her a lot of the time. I wanted to pull her close and never let anything harm her ever again. But, all in all, it was T.J who really got me attached to this story.
I enjoyed how this story went from past to present. It was interesting how the transitions were put together and extremely well-executed. It truly pulls the reader in and makes them want to read more. I, for one, was interested to know why that was on the page and why that spurred that memory. I loved the few twists at the end and I just thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and plot of the entire novel. I liked how it all fit together, how it all came together and how, by the end of it, the journey had come to a close and a projection of the future was given, a future full of hope and happiness and good things. It made the entire novel a worthwhile read.
This story was moving and compelling and one that I would highly recommend to many others. It is an easy-read as it is a middle grade book but that does not make it a bad read. It was powerful and rich and really gets you to think and I feel that, as Sheila admitted in her interview with me, it would be a good read for anyone ten and up. It is a gritty representation of reality and maybe too much for some younger readers but, in the eyes of a young child, it really just works well. I can definitely see it causing younger readers to think more about the world they are in. I would honestly recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction and wants something new and unique to read!
* I recieved a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest reivew of the book *