Book Review: What We Buried

Book Review: What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman
To be published February 26, 2019
Read courtesy of

Riveting. RIVETING!

From the double-meaning title to the adept use of flashbacks entwined with the glimpses of memory, What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman epitomizes a psychological thriller. I'm so glad I read this and cannot wait to get this book for my high school library.

I read this in one sitting, from 9am to 2pm on a Sunday, and it was time well spent. Most of us would admit that we hold a secret prejudice against kids who sue their parents; OK, I'll admit that I didn't have sympathy for children suing their parents (it's Kramer vs Kramer-esque and shades of my-parents-owe-me-a-college-education lawsuits that have shaped my thinking); however, I really appreciated how Boorman validated a child's experiences and perceptions. The author did an amazing job of having Liv and Jory explain how the siblings had their relationship marred by how each of them had been treated by their parents, and she did so without being preachy or obvious or by making the characters seem blaming and whiny.

Moreover, the author flawlessly made this skeptical reader accept the validity of how untrivial Liv's lawsuit against her parents is. In Liv, Boorman created a character who grows up right before our eyes ... albeit flawed ... but, hey, that's what makes a character so interesting!

What We Buried deftly fits together convoluted puzzle pieces of memory and plot, making this a psychological thriller I wanted to figure out. I kept flipping back and forth as to whom I believed was in the cabin, and even after finishing the book and reading the book flap teaser, I still can make a case for multiple perceptions of the ending. It would be fun to make a book discussion out of the possible endings with my teen readers.

As I read, I had shades of Lovely Bones and Thelma & Louise float into my consciousness at different times, but What We Buried is its own unique story. Highly recommended!

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