There are abundant references to places and things that anyone growing up in Southern Ontario can easily identify with. There is a lot of Canadiana described in these pages. I don't understand why this book hasn't recieved more recognition in terms of book awards, etc. Perhaps there has not been enough time in the market as yet. I think it is beautiful. But not if you ware wanting action, mystery, moving plot.
If you like to get to know characters and if you enjoy beautiful writing you will be happy with this novel about a family just trying to get by. Like most of us.
Lives of quiet desperation, my pessimistic husband used to say. I liked the metaphor that was crea I don't understand why this book hasn't recieved more recognition in terms of book awards, etc. I liked the metaphor that was created by the mannequins in the garden, symbols for this family.
And I also liked the way the author did not get maudlin and hung up on the death of the mother. I loved this book!! I found Lucy's struggle to be accepted as her quirky cat-loving self so real. It is reflective of the difficulties that teenaged girls face in trying to preserve their sense of self while being encouraged to change their differences in order to fit in with the popular crowd.
I highly recommend this book and think that all teenaged girls and their mothers would benefit from reading it! Loved it, loved it. When I really think about it, it's kind of a typical coming of age story, but the writing and Lucy's voice is just so original and so RIGHT. I stayed up past 1am finishing it. Also, this book has about pages, not Jan 20, Reshad Mubtasim-fuad rated it really liked it. Every compelling novel has its characters experience their emotional ups and downs, humorous moments, pitfalls, and eventual resurgence.
All these elements of character development come together wonderfully in Canadian author Lauren Kirshner's first ever novel, Where We Have To Go, making it as compelling a read as ever.
The entirety of the novel is told through the first-person perspective of Lucy Bloom, throughout her years of adolescence and young adulthood. Her parents constantly argue with e Every compelling novel has its characters experience their emotional ups and downs, humorous moments, pitfalls, and eventual resurgence. Her parents constantly argue with each other and always talk about divorce, she frequently gets bullied by a few of her classmates at school, and goes through many hardships when it comes to boyfriends and relationships.
Life for Lucy isn't easy, but she learns to persevere through her troubles even during the toughest of times. She actively supports and cares for her mother, tries to maintain her relationships with her father, does well academically in school, and even makes a couple of friends along the way. While this may seem like one of your typical "coming-of-age" stories, Lucy's charming personality, childish demeanor, and sense of awkwardness is what separates her experience from others.
Even as she matures, her outlook on issues in her everyday life remain the same. She does her best to bring out the positive in people and isn't scared to voice her opinion if she thinks something is going wrong. Over her years, she tried to ignore her parents' constant bickering and the insults thrown at her in school, but soon learns that she can't just shy away from the negative and has to face her problems head on.
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Naturally, she goes through bouts of depression, but overcomes the feeling to eventually prevail. Her journey is an engaging one that has its unexpected twists and turns, but will keep you glued until the end. The most likable aspect of Where We Have To Go is perhaps, besides Lucy's personality, the relatable experiences that she goes through. The setting of the book is none other than Toronto, Canada which happens to be my hometown , and many of the places that Lucy visits and talks about are places that I've been to many times and have become accustomed to.
For example, Lucy mentions how every Saturday she does the groceries with her family at No-Frills and shops at Zellers, experiences that I am very familiar with especially during my childhood. While the majority of the story takes place around the s, there are still striking similarities to then and now, and surprisingly comes off as highly relatable.
Author Lauren Kirshner's writing style is detailed and light-hearted, much like the rest of the book, and I feel she wrote about her very own childhood days when she writes about Lucy. The book successfully explored the theme of nostalgia and made me feel a bit giddy on the inside as well. I do feel the book has some pacing problems and could be sped up from time-to-time, as well as not having a definite climax.
The situations never get too intense, and there are sections that can come off as sort of boring. These are minor complaints however, and the majority of the book left me pleased.
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I recommend Where We Have To Go for anyone who wants a mostly easy-going reading experience while still exploring some of the intricacies of childhood and teenage issues, or for anyone who grew up in Toronto or any city in general, and wants a nostalgic experience. Nov 01, Lydia Laceby rated it really liked it Shelves: Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes Where We Have to Go is a thoroughly enjoyable coming of age tale full of quirky characters, humour and angst.
This story shines a light on some of the darker realities of a faultering marriage from a child's perspective and the long lasting effects of such a tumultuous upbringing. This novel could have been much more grim but Kirshner handles the fine line between humour and somber so deftly that the serious issues never come across as being made light of, wh Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes Where We Have to Go is a thoroughly enjoyable coming of age tale full of quirky characters, humour and angst.
This novel could have been much more grim but Kirshner handles the fine line between humour and somber so deftly that the serious issues never come across as being made light of, which is a testament to her writing and something I greatly appreciated.
Where We Have to Go, by Lauren Kirshner
Anyone who had ever felt self conscious as a child or teen, or felt themselves odd or quirky or an outsider or had ever held their hands over their ears to ease parental bickering will be able to relate to this novel. Lucy Bloom is a wonderful protagonist. She's so cute and quirky and sad that you can't help but be empathetic towards her and as I watched her life grew more complicated as she navigates her teens, I found myself cringing and wanting to scream at her and everyone around her.
And then on the next page I would find myself chortling or with a grin on my face. It was so well written in this aspect that I loved the constant anticipation of what emotion I would feel next. As an only child, Lucy is left to navigate her parent's marriage through infidelity, separation and reuniting. There is much in this novel that is heartbreaking, but I always felt undercurrents of hope.
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I continuously rooted for Lucy and her family all the way through this novel and wanted to shake her parents to keep their issues from her and to actually see what she was going through. I could never figure out where Lucy would end up in life and I loved that. Having grown up through the 70's, 80's and 90's, I loved the feeling of nostalgia Where do we go From Here brought. Along with all the childhood memories were many Canadianisms and Toronto references, which is always a bonus for me with any novel.
Thank you to McClelland and Stewart for our review copy. All opinions are our own. Nov 30, Canadian Reader rated it really liked it Shelves: Kirshner's debut novel is the mostly sparkling coming-of-age story of Lucy Bloom, from early adolescence to young adulthood. The above dirty laundry list of "issues" perhaps makes the book sound grim and dark, but the story is leavened by cons Kirshner's debut novel is the mostly sparkling coming-of-age story of Lucy Bloom, from early adolescence to young adulthood.
The above dirty laundry list of "issues" perhaps makes the book sound grim and dark, but the story is leavened by considerable humour, a lively first-person narration, and interesting three-dimensional characters. Kirshner is dextrous with language and the book is grounded in vivid sensory detail and fresh images.
Overall, this is an entertaining and engrossing novel that makes the reader care about the central character, Lucy Bloom, and her family and friends. I was rather confused by the section in which Lucy tells her incapacitated mother a "fictionally true" story about the brief period they spent away from Lucy's father in a run-down apartment complex. The author seems to be wanting to make a point here about the healing power of stories, but, to my mind at least, it didn't work. It would've been valuable to rethink, rework, and revise this section considerably prior to publication.
I look forward to reading Kirshner's future work and highly recommend her first offering. It is a solid book that deserves to be read by both adults and high-school-age young adults. Feb 07, Carrie Ardoin rated it it was ok Shelves: Lucy Bloom is 11 years old, and she loves Alf, and her cat Lulu. Her life is simple but soon gets more complicated.
Her family is drifting apart before her, and there's nothing she can do to stop it. The book continues to tell the story of Lucy throughout her teenage years. She has more than enough problems to face in a lifetime, let alone just those few precious years.
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As Lucy moves towards adulthood, she learns the truth is not always what is seems, and learns to look at her parents as real peo Lucy Bloom is 11 years old, and she loves Alf, and her cat Lulu. As Lucy moves towards adulthood, she learns the truth is not always what is seems, and learns to look at her parents as real people--not just parents. I didn't really enjoy this book that much. Her entire teen years--not one good thing?
It made for a really depressing read. While I liked the author's style and the imagination she gave Lucy, I found most of the characters very flat, including Lucy herself. I didn't really enjoy her voice and the perspective she had on some things. The plot was not really driven by anything. There are no real climactic events to speak of, just a series of things that Lucy happens to go through.
The story definitely did not pull me in and make me want to finish it as quickly as possible.
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The book got better towards the end, but I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to have taken away from it. If this was a coming-of-age story, I'm not sure what the significant events were that were supposed to have changed Lucy. She never really acted like anything affected her too significantly. I wasn't really able to view her actions and emotions as being a result of her parents' problems. Basically, I felt the entire book was just Lucy's life going along from point A to point B.
I'm sure she was somehow supposed to be shaped by the things that happened in her teenage years, but to me, there was no one important thing that stood out. Where We Have To Go sparkles in its sad revelations on the life of one young girl stuck in one dysfunctional family. Lauren Kirshner marks her debut with a fine-tuned novel filled with ample quirk, a touch of spunk, and a whole lot of tragic circumstances.
As the novel opens, the eleven-year-old Lucy dreams of freedom in the shape of a bicycle. Her vision dissipates when she receives a pair of second-hand roller skates for her birthday, and when she becomes conscious of her parents' marital trou Where We Have To Go sparkles in its sad revelations on the life of one young girl stuck in one dysfunctional family. Her vision dissipates when she receives a pair of second-hand roller skates for her birthday, and when she becomes conscious of her parents' marital troubles.
Lucy then embarks on an odyssey toward adulthood, an adventure riddled with toxic friendships, anorexia, and anxieties connected to her changing environment. Even as she wades through her own confusion, Lucy maintains her charm and presses on. Set in Toronto in the nineties, the novel invites young readers to re-live their past through a literary lens. Kirshner adds delightful touches of pop culture to her text, most notably in little Lucy's admiration of ALF. Sweet, complicated, and entirely addictive -- finish the novel in one sitting, then repeat.
Toronto high schoolers needing proof of literature's relevancy; Twenty-somethings needing a hit of nostalgia; Coming-of-age junkies. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is absolutely incredible! The voice of Lucy as a child, adolescent and young adult is so frighteningly accurate and engaging.
Some of her childhood thoughts and hopes are so pure, naive and full of that beautiful hope that children have that, being an adult and knowing better, your heart breaks a little. Her young life is clumsy and imperfect and therefore, perfectly rendered. I really appreciated This book is absolutely incredible! I really appreciated the details used to complete characters and situations little quirks in behavior and preference that make things unique and feel so real.
There is also liberal use of references to actual media and advances in technology, which add to the realism. There were a couple of times that I had to put the book down for a day or two because I was so deeply entrenched in Lucy's world that I intensely felt everything she was feeling. That's how wonderful and engrossing and it is. On January 16th, , FunnyJunk user inq submitted a vertical comic joking that Cobb should "go deeper" to sexually satisfy his girlfriend shown below, left.
Where We Have to Go
Within three years, the post received more than 32, views and up votes. On June 2nd, the Internet humor blog Smosh  highlighted several vertical Inception comics, several of which featured jokes using the phrase "we need to go deeper" shown below, right. Prior to being archived, the post garnered upwards of up votes and 20 comments.