counter create hit Stray: Memoir of a Runaway - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Stray: Memoir of a Runaway

Availability: Ready to download

Brutal and beautiful, Stray is the true story of a girl who runs away and finds herself. After growing up in a dysfunctional and emotionally abusive home, Tanya Marquardt runs away on her sixteenth birthday. Her departure is an act of rebellion and survivalwhatever she is heading toward has to be better than what she is leaving behind. Struggling with her inner demons, Tanya Brutal and beautiful, Stray is the true story of a girl who runs away and finds herself. After growing up in a dysfunctional and emotionally abusive home, Tanya Marquardt runs away on her sixteenth birthday. Her departure is an act of rebellion and survival—whatever she is heading toward has to be better than what she is leaving behind. Struggling with her inner demons, Tanya must learn to take care of herself during two chaotic years in the working-class mill town of Port Alberni, followed by the early-nineties underground goth scene in Vancouver, British Columbia. She finds a chosen family in her fellow misfits, and the bond they form is fierce and unflinching. Told with raw honesty and strength, Stray reveals Tanya’s fight to embrace the vulnerable, beguiling parts of herself and heal the wounds of her past as she forges her own path to a new life.


Compare
Ads Banner

Brutal and beautiful, Stray is the true story of a girl who runs away and finds herself. After growing up in a dysfunctional and emotionally abusive home, Tanya Marquardt runs away on her sixteenth birthday. Her departure is an act of rebellion and survivalwhatever she is heading toward has to be better than what she is leaving behind. Struggling with her inner demons, Tanya Brutal and beautiful, Stray is the true story of a girl who runs away and finds herself. After growing up in a dysfunctional and emotionally abusive home, Tanya Marquardt runs away on her sixteenth birthday. Her departure is an act of rebellion and survival—whatever she is heading toward has to be better than what she is leaving behind. Struggling with her inner demons, Tanya must learn to take care of herself during two chaotic years in the working-class mill town of Port Alberni, followed by the early-nineties underground goth scene in Vancouver, British Columbia. She finds a chosen family in her fellow misfits, and the bond they form is fierce and unflinching. Told with raw honesty and strength, Stray reveals Tanya’s fight to embrace the vulnerable, beguiling parts of herself and heal the wounds of her past as she forges her own path to a new life.

30 review for Stray: Memoir of a Runaway

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    I have mixed feelings while writing this review. After finishing the book, I went back to reread the book descriptions to see what I might have missed when choosing this book. I felt a bit betrayed, as the description didnt exactly fit the story I read. Stray is author Tanya Marquardts sharing of her teenage history, told from the vantage point of twenty years later and viewed with older and wiser eyes. Yes, the rebellious spirit of a young teenage girl shines through, one that emerges from a I have mixed feelings while writing this review. After finishing the book, I went back to reread the book descriptions to see what I might have missed when choosing this book. I felt a bit betrayed, as the description didn’t exactly fit the story I read. “Stray” is author Tanya Marquardt’s sharing of her teenage history, told from the vantage point of twenty years later and viewed with older and wiser eyes. Yes, the rebellious spirit of a young teenage girl shines through, one that emerges from a broken home and two parents using their children to hurt a former marriage partner. Ms. Marquardt leaves the home of her mother while remaining in the same town and living with friends, eventually winding up in the same city she started at and living with her father. The main part of the story tells of the author’s years away from her parents, detailing endless parties and clubbing. We are privy to her thoughts, running the gamut of what she enjoys about drinking as well as her intimate nervousness concerning young men and sex. I kept waiting for an epiphany, something that happened that caused her to change direction and head toward a life with more promise. After all, Ms. Marquardt has authored a book and, truth be told, she demonstrates a writing skill that flows well and is engaging. I never felt the epiphany came, or at least, it wasn’t revealed in any detail. Ms. Marquardt’s senior year flew by in a matter of a few pages and the path to her eventual future is laid out in a few paragraphs. Details of her partying accompanied by teenage angst thus encompasses the majority of the book. These, according to the author, were “…sourced from my memories, diaries, letters, and recollections.” I am not sure if the author’s intentions were to leave readers with a feeling of dissatisfaction, but that was my take by the end of the book. Though well-written, I found the tone to be more teenage reflections than what the book description referred to as “gritty.” If you are seeking a book about someone trying to escape her earlier life while drinking herself into self-proclaimed blackout states, this might be a book for you. The author’s talented writing kept me reading all the way to the end, which unfortunately didn’t contain the closure I was looking for. Three-and-a-half stars. Note: This was a Kindle First (or First Reads) book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marissa Christenson Lang

    Although the writing wasnt bad, I felt constantly let down by this book. Only about 1/4 of it takes place during the 6 months when she was a runaway, with the rest happening before and after. The description says she has nowhere to go, but thats not at all true. She goes straight to a friends apartment, having arranged it beforehand. She lives there for 3 months, and both her (divorced) parents know where she is, talk to her, visit her, and her dad sends her money every week. She attends the Although the writing wasn’t bad, I felt constantly let down by this book. Only about 1/4 of it takes place during the 6 months when she was “a runaway”, with the rest happening before and after. The description says she has nowhere to go, but that’s not at all true. She goes straight to a friend’s apartment, having arranged it beforehand. She lives there for 3 months, and both her (divorced) parents know where she is, talk to her, visit her, and her dad sends her money every week. She attends the same high school. She then moves in with a different friend and her family for 3 more months, before moving back in with her mom. Then she lives with her dad for a year, graduates, and goes to college. She definitely had a troubled adolescence but painting herself as a child with nowhere to go is just dishonest. The book definitely needed editing. One page has her brother as a 3-yr-old, and the next he’s one (no obvious flashback device). One scene described shaving her head and in the very next she’s hiding behind her long hair while being mistaken for a prostitute. I feel like this could have been a good memoir with proper editing, better title/description, and a better chronology.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    We get it. You smoke. Every page of this book is stuffed with cigarettes and smoking. They added nothing to the story and in fact, distracted me from what was supposed to be the point. In one page she mentioned smoking 6 times, and every page is like that. Its so unnecessary We get it. You smoke. Every page of this book is stuffed with cigarettes and smoking. They added nothing to the story and in fact, distracted me from what was supposed to be the point. In one page she mentioned smoking 6 times, and every page is like that. It’s so unnecessary

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This memoir is a must-read for anybody who has struggled to find themselves, who loves reading about dysfunctional families, anything 90's or Canadian. And for those who are just fans of honest, good writing. Well written and compelling. Highly recommended!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I found this memoir to be incredible. Poo poo on all the naysayers. Tanya's writing is incredibly raw and forthcoming. Her book is not meant to be solely about being a "runaway" but as a "stray". There's a difference. How could you not pick up on the stray feeling throughout the book??!? She had no roots, no home, her entire childhood. You felt let down by her book? YOU felt let down by someone else's misery...get over yourself. Tanya is giving us a piece of her existence in an incredibly honest I found this memoir to be incredible. Poo poo on all the naysayers. Tanya's writing is incredibly raw and forthcoming. Her book is not meant to be solely about being a "runaway" but as a "stray". There's a difference. How could you not pick up on the stray feeling throughout the book??!? She had no roots, no home, her entire childhood. You felt let down by her book? YOU felt let down by someone else's misery...get over yourself. Tanya is giving us a piece of her existence in an incredibly honest way. So here's my "spoiler": if you can't handle reading truth about a woman abused by her alcoholic father and disconnected life but rose above it, then don't read this. If you want flowers & rainbows, I suspect memoirs aren't your thing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ana Oh

    Meh This memoir held some personal interest because I grew up with a similar group of friends and circumstances. The writing? Its not The Glass Castleno rich storytelling can be found. There are a lot of information dumps, which can get a little tedious. If the author and I didnt share similar experiences, I probably wouldnt have finished the book. Meh This memoir held some personal interest because I grew up with a similar group of friends and circumstances. The writing? It’s not The Glass Castle—no rich storytelling can be found. There are a lot of information dumps, which can get a little tedious. If the author and I didn’t share similar experiences, I probably wouldn’t have finished the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Patterson

    This book was confusing. It would go back in time and then forward so I had to read it carefully. I liked the concept of Stray but found it mostly boring. 1.5/5 stars from me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    THIS IS NOT A MEMOIR OF A RUNAWAY. Held to the title (and expectation it creates) this book fails miserably. marquardt ran away and lived at a friends house for three months but thats only a small fact in the story shared. Mostly this book follows her 16th year where she lives with her mom (verbally abusive and emotionally unavailable) and step dad but is miserable and frequently visits her father (who is an alcoholic). Her teenage angst comes through (the writing is pretty solid and flows well) THIS IS NOT A MEMOIR OF A RUNAWAY. Held to the title (and expectation it creates) this book fails miserably. marquardt “ran away” and lived at a friends house for three months but that’s only a small fact in the story shared. Mostly this book follows her 16th year where she lives with her mom (verbally abusive and emotionally unavailable) and “step dad” but is miserable and frequently visits her father (who is an alcoholic). Her teenage angst comes through (the writing is pretty solid and flows well) and it reads like a playbook of that year (lots of parties, experimentation, nervousness around boys and blackouts from excessive drinking). It’s honest. New ‘friends’ also bring her into the goth scene (which is informative—I leaned more about it) and she also meets her first “boyfriend” whom she loses her virginity too (TMI serials) and at the end of the book she mentions—quickly—a teacher in her class who asks her to help out with the school theater so TADA—this brings us full circle to how she ended up on broadway (or whatever) today. So as a memoir about a “runaway”? 👎 HOWEVER, this book accurately portrays alcoholism and how immature parents use children as pawns in divorce. I think this memoir could be cathartic and validating for a lot of people, though they will probably never read it because they won’t know it applies to them — sad. The brute honesty in which she writes and shares her experience is also commendable — for those familiar with 12-step programs, this book is a loooong speaker meeting, except it doesn’t wrap up. There’s no “rock bottom” or epiphany to where when or how she turned her life around (except a quick line about “yay I got into theater school”) More annoying, she says things like “that was before I got sober” “or it would take me years to see I needed to stop drinking” but leaves that there with no detail or transition. You miss out on the good stuff. Another example was she quipped “this was before I knew I could determine what happens with my body and say no” but leaves that there—never saying more about it. I would have loooved more on that and less about metal corsets. The writing is good, and she will keep you captivated, but mostly this book overpromises and hardly delivers what it says it will. I’m rubbed and disappointed. Trigger warnings: physical abuse, incest, molestation, abusive parents, emotional blackmail, alcoholism.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    Tepid, disappointing memoir with not enough "there, there." I expected edgy, gritty, and to witness some real growth (emotional, spiritual...something), but this was a blah recounting of a mostly unremarkable youth. And the 10,000 mentions of smoking? Why? We got it--you smoke--after the first thousand mentions of smoking cigarettes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fayla

    Part 1- 5 stars Part 2- 3 stars Part 3- 3.5 stars Part 1 was (obviously) the best part and I wouldve been content if the book ended there. The stories were short and poignant. While the writing was plain, that was its strength. The only drawback was that the stories werent in chronological order and that was jarring to the overall flow, especially in parts 2 & 3 where time has obviously progressed. What I loved was the self-awareness that maybe this story is being told by an unreliable Part 1- 5 stars Part 2- 3 stars Part 3- 3.5 stars Part 1 was (obviously) the best part and I would’ve been content if the book ended there. The stories were short and poignant. While the writing was plain, that was its strength. The only drawback was that the stories weren’t in chronological order and that was jarring to the overall flow, especially in parts 2 & 3 where time has obviously progressed. What I loved was the self-awareness that maybe this story is being told by an unreliable narrator. Part 2 was boring. The stories were considerably longer but didn’t add much “character” depth or development. Personally, I could’ve done without half the party stories because it was evident she had a drinking problem, partially exacerbated by being homeless. Part 3 improved the themes introduced in Part 2. The details brought everyone into as clear focus as the author. Well almost everyone - her family, except for mom, were still background characters making frequent cameo appearances. The end was very frustrating: Ok, so she achieved her goal of graduating high school and going to college, but so what? At this point, I want to know how she came to deal with her trauma, repaired familial relationships, and what happened to all her friends. All in all, a pretty good read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    Stray: Memoir of a Runaway from Canadian Tanya Marquardt is "the true story of a girl who runs away and finds herself." I am invariably drawn to memoirs and the cover of Stray immediately caught my eye - there's so much in that photo. Stray opens in 1995. Tanya is sixteen and has just run away from her mother and stepfather's home. We learn some of the details of her past and what has led to this exodus -an alcoholic father, a violent home, a mother who lived with her two children in this Stray: Memoir of a Runaway from Canadian Tanya Marquardt is "the true story of a girl who runs away and finds herself." I am invariably drawn to memoirs and the cover of Stray immediately caught my eye - there's so much in that photo. Stray opens in 1995. Tanya is sixteen and has just run away from her mother and stepfather's home. We learn some of the details of her past and what has led to this exodus -an alcoholic father, a violent home, a mother who lived with her two children in this dysfunctional relationship longer than she should have. By the time her mother makes a move to get out, fourteen year old Tanya has already forged an intimate relationship with alcohol. "Drinking booze became a marathon, and each vodka poured down my gullet felt like a lifesaving elixir, making me feel intensely, tricking me into thinking I was getting in touch with who I really was. " Stray details the time from walking out that door to Marquardt's acceptance at college - and the turbulent years in between. Tanya finds a sense of family and security with others living on the fringes of society, from the 'wrong' side of Port Alberni to the underground Goth scene in Vancouver's early nineties. Stray reads like a journal or diary. Putting your life to paper is so intimate, revealing details, baring your life for others to see. Loss, regrets, hopes, dreams - and reality. I am always so appreciative of an author sharing something so personal with strangers. I thought about the title. As a verb, stray is defined as "to move away aimlessly from a group or from the right course or place" and as an adjective, 'to wander off, go astray, get separated, get lost." Both descriptions seem to capture Marquardt's memoir of those years. Stray does only cover only a short period of time. I had become caught up in Marquardt's story and would have loved to see how she ended up where she is today. That being said, I really enjoyed Stray. Marquardt's writing is raw and engaging.

  12. 4 out of 5

    dori

    My wife actually grew up on the island around the same time, and I grew up during the same era. The author and I shared a similar sort of neglected upbringing and a love for the same music and scene. This book made me cringe, though, honestly, because it brought back so many feelings from that time in my own life (some will find these to be "triggers" - I've enough distance and therapy between it now, thankfully, but if you don't, and you've lived with parental abuse or neglectful parenting or My wife actually grew up on the island around the same time, and I grew up during the same era. The author and I shared a similar sort of neglected upbringing and a love for the same music and scene. This book made me cringe, though, honestly, because it brought back so many feelings from that time in my own life (some will find these to be "triggers" - I've enough distance and therapy between it now, thankfully, but if you don't, and you've lived with parental abuse or neglectful parenting or self-harm and you're still working through it, you've been warned. (spoiler!) The author comes out on the beautiful side though, and hopefully, so will you. On the other hand, this author was hardly a "runaway", so the title was fairly misleading, although I guess when I think about it, it's kind of hard to come up with what we were back then. We were tormented, for sure, and fairly cut loose and let go into the world without a lot of guidance, forced to figure most of it out on our own. The author does write beautifully, but there are some confusing time jumps here and there (I would maybe place this blame on the editor for overlooking that). There are some good truths in here, and there are many young women who could benefit from the things the author has learned (although on that note, I'm also glad that the author didn't go too far into her "how i healed myself with yoga and meditation" aspects of things - it's enough, really, to say that survival, health, happiness, self-worth and true love are possible, that the grit, scars and stains of life don't make us any less beautiful). Thanks so much for awarding me my first Goodreads Giveaway book - it showed up all of a sudden on my Kindle (and my wife's) and it took me a second to realize I'd finally won something! It was an honor.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This was my pick for the month of August with Amazon First Reads. Stray comes out officially on September 1, 2018. Raw. Powerful. Emotional. Heart wrenching. These are all the feelings I felt reading Stray. In this memoir Tanya Marquardt takes us on her journey when she was a teenager finishing up high school. She decided to run away from home when she was 16 because the police in Canada could not do anything about it. Her childhood left me so sad. Marquardt has overcome a lot in her life. She This was my pick for the month of August with Amazon First Reads. Stray comes out officially on September 1, 2018. Raw. Powerful. Emotional. Heart wrenching. These are all the feelings I felt reading Stray. In this memoir Tanya Marquardt takes us on her journey when she was a teenager finishing up high school. She decided to run away from home when she was 16 because the police in Canada could not do anything about it. Her childhood left me so sad. Marquardt has overcome a lot in her life. She survived through abuse, a rough relationship with her divorced parents, and poverty only to relive it by writing about it. This book reads a lot like a general non-fiction novel and I had to remind myself that this was in fact a true story. My heart kept breaking with every turn of the page. The ending is anti-climactic but again, it is a memoir. I would have liked more closure at the end of the book, but, that is my opinion. Overall this book was a powerful, insightful read. I really commend Marquardt for staying focused on her education throughout her rough spot in her life. Any more details about this book and it would be giving it all away. I am giving this book 3 stars. This book was well written and kept my interest. It saddened me to think that there are children, innocent children, out there that live this life. The ending just lacked and I would have appreciated to know the outcome of her transition from high school to college. Obviously, she became successful as she wrote a book but the book just ends with her at an interview for college. I felt like I went on this journey with her for a better life and she left me hanging. It was a bit of a letdown after such a tremendous, powerful read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steven Andrews

    This is a book that I feel will speak to people in different ways. Some readers may digest this book as purely as a cognitive experience being happy to dive into experience thats varied from their own. Other readers may well relate to this book emotionally, reliving their own experiences through the narrative of this memoir. Id personally fit into the second camp. Going through a destructive family life thats pockmarked with alcohol, violence and periods of abandonment leaves marks on individuals This is a book that I feel will speak to people in different ways. Some readers may digest this book as purely as a cognitive experience being happy to dive into experience that’s varied from their own. Other readers may well relate to this book emotionally, reliving their own experiences through the narrative of this memoir. I’d personally fit into the second camp. Going through a destructive family life that’s pockmarked with alcohol, violence and periods of abandonment leaves marks on individuals that stay with them for life. Childhood experiences are evaluated, dissected, re-inflected and pondered often. To question and query them whilst they’re being lived is a very different cognitive process. Tanya Marquardt captures many aspects of this in an honest, inglorious and revealing dialogue, one that invites you to share and understand the nuances of her background. Not once did I see any of this story as teenage angst, I related to a lot of the struggles mentioned. Those of confidence, those of accepting your roots, those of not understanding kindness from others, of not knowing inappropriate attitudes and perspectives till years after you’ve accepted them and not feeling comfortable in dropping inhibitions. Tanya’s finding of a family through the goth scene very much mirrors my own and is told very honestly. Some other reviews on this book mention that the conclusion feels a little light. I couldn’t disagree more. Looking at the author’s career trajectory, set after the published time period was all I needed to know. Often, at least for me, surviving a fractured childhood and not recreating it is conclusion enough.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Booksandchinooks (Laurie)

    Thank you to Little a Publishing for a free copy of this book for review. This was an interesting book that kept me wanting more. The author tells her story of her dysfunctional upbringing and how she lived and survived up to age 17 when the book ends. It is truly heartbreaking to read about the emotional and at times physical abuse she suffered and it is so commendable that she overcame her childhood. Throughout the turmoil she continued her education and went on to university and a successful Thank you to Little a Publishing for a free copy of this book for review. This was an interesting book that kept me wanting more. The author tells her story of her dysfunctional upbringing and how she lived and survived up to age 17 when the book ends. It is truly heartbreaking to read about the emotional and at times physical abuse she suffered and it is so commendable that she overcame her childhood. Throughout the turmoil she continued her education and went on to university and a successful career. I had some problems with the timeline in places which threw me off a little. I think the book would have been even more impactful if it had continued. The book ends just as she is going to start university and I would have liked to hear how she turned her life around and to learn about her relationship with her family now. I think this would have given the book more closure and given us a better sense of how she became the person she is today.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Baige Bell

    This is more like 2.5 stars. I liked the writing, and she certainly had an interesting adolescence, but the random flashbacks were confusing and difficult to follow. I also get that she's telling the story of when/how her childhood abuse affected her most drastically, but I have to say I would prefer to have read about the time in her life when she overcame it. She mentions how she heals from the trauma eventually at an unspecified later point. I want to read about the healing process. This book This is more like 2.5 stars. I liked the writing, and she certainly had an interesting adolescence, but the random flashbacks were confusing and difficult to follow. I also get that she's telling the story of when/how her childhood abuse affected her most drastically, but I have to say I would prefer to have read about the time in her life when she overcame it. She mentions how she heals from the trauma eventually at an unspecified later point. I want to read about the healing process. This book was about the behavior of someone coping with abuse who didn't get any help but then eventually at some unclear point in the future she recovers. I would have preferred to read a smaller chunk of the effects of the abuse and the main focus to be on recovery and healing. Here's hoping for a sequel where she does this, I suppose.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Wagner

    This book was extremely engaging and well-written, but the story itself is unsatisfying. It's almost as if this book needs a sequel. It reads like a teenager's diary. It reads like one diary pulled out of a bookshelf of diaries. The author's teenage self wasn't trouble, but she was a follower. She got into some seedy situations and fell into a destructive pattern with alcohol, but she wasn't entirely unprincipled and she certainly wasn't dumb. She was basically a lonely kid who found an This book was extremely engaging and well-written, but the story itself is unsatisfying. It's almost as if this book needs a sequel. It reads like a teenager's diary. It reads like one diary pulled out of a bookshelf of diaries. The author's teenage self wasn't trouble, but she was a follower. She got into some seedy situations and fell into a destructive pattern with alcohol, but she wasn't entirely unprincipled and she certainly wasn't dumb. She was basically a lonely kid who found an alternative family when her own failed her. It's not a unique story, but it is an interesting one. I really liked it, but I can't give it five stars. Oh, and it's narrated by the author, who did a fantastic job.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan Bazzett-Griffith

    The memoir of the tumultuous teenage years of a renowned Canadian playwright, Stray was an engrossing read. Having grown up loving the underground punk scene as a teenager about 1000 miles away from her in the same era, I found myself loving her descriptions of the bands, the goth behaviors and fashions and fascination, the drunken debauchery, the confusion and angst and friendships, and cringing at the underlying pain and oftentimes abusive lives of the kids who inhabited this odd alternative The memoir of the tumultuous teenage years of a renowned Canadian playwright, Stray was an engrossing read. Having grown up loving the underground punk scene as a teenager about 1000 miles away from her in the same era, I found myself loving her descriptions of the bands, the goth behaviors and fashions and fascination, the drunken debauchery, the confusion and angst and friendships, and cringing at the underlying pain and oftentimes abusive lives of the kids who inhabited this odd alternative world. She makes the world come alive--the sounds, the smells, the thrills, the fear, the electricity. And she makes you root for her, since it seems her parents were incapable of doing so. A gem of a memoir, but may be too dark for a lot of people. Four stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julian

    I got this for free from Amazon. It is about a 16yo in a very dysfunctional Canadian family. The father is a violent alcoholic and a , after the divorce, the family splits. At some point the mother remarries and the author leaves her home to go an live with friends. There are some gritty parts, but in general I found it relatively mild as a read. I'm not minimizing the author's experiences by any means, and I know she had a hard time growing up without role models or adult guidance, I just don't I got this for free from Amazon. It is about a 16yo in a very dysfunctional Canadian family. The father is a violent alcoholic and a , after the divorce, the family splits. At some point the mother remarries and the author leaves her home to go an live with friends. There are some gritty parts, but in general I found it relatively mild as a read. I'm not minimizing the author's experiences by any means, and I know she had a hard time growing up without role models or adult guidance, I just don't think her story is necessarily book material, especially when the writing is a bit bland. The events are told as they happened, with little reflection, afterthought os embellishment...this happened, then that happened, etc. I'm stopping here and moving to something else.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Dressel

    Unsettling book As a mother and grandmother, I often found this book uncomfortable. A young teen taking about heavy drinking and constant smokingout all night, yet dedicated to her education and seeing it as her way to a better life. I realize this is a true story. It often made me feel sad, sometimes angry and occasionally joyful. I think I would only recommend it to a parent of a teen who is dealing with teenage issues. It might provide some insight. I cant say I liked it, but I didnt dislike Unsettling book As a mother and grandmother, I often found this book uncomfortable. A young teen taking about heavy drinking and constant smoking—out all night, yet dedicated to her education and seeing it as her way to a better life. I realize this is a true story. It often made me feel sad, sometimes angry and occasionally joyful. I think I would only recommend it to a parent of a teen who is dealing with teenage issues. It might provide some insight. I can’t say I liked it, but I didn’t dislike it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Ended abruptly with no real conclusion or resolution or even lesson learned. Gritty and interesting in many ways, frustrating in others. Lots and lots and lots of smoking and drinking as key players in the narrative/memories. Ended abruptly with no real conclusion or resolution or even “lesson learned.” Gritty and interesting in many ways, frustrating in others. Lots and lots and lots of smoking and drinking as key players in the narrative/memories.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    3.5 would be a more accurate rating. The book was somewhat interesting, and I wanted things to improve for the author. Im curious to know more about her life and her family relationships after this time period. 3.5 would be a more accurate rating. The book was somewhat interesting, and I wanted things to improve for the author. I’m curious to know more about her life and her family relationships after this time period.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Hillis

    I thought this memoir was very well written and intriguing. It left me wanting to know more about the author.

  24. 5 out of 5

    carl w. cox

    Surprised Not my normal reading,but it caught my eye and as i starting it was pulled in both to her story and my own past. Thank you

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Surprisingly insightful. My biggest take away was the theme that she didn't know she could say no.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Fleming-Swehla

    Reading memoirs is always personal and I look for a reason for why someone felt their life should be read about by strangers. I enjoy reading about people who overcome difficulties or have survived and thrivedmaybe it gives me hope, maybe Im just nosy. The first half of this book was filled with just awful stories and even went so far as to, in my opinion, glorify cutting and it just pissed me off. YES, you had a bad life and obviously you hate it and heck, here, have a medal for the Worst Life Reading memoirs is always personal and I look for a reason for why someone felt their life should be read about by strangers. I enjoy reading about people who overcome difficulties or have survived and thrived…maybe it gives me hope, maybe I’m just nosy. The first half of this book was filled with just awful stories and even went so far as to, in my opinion, glorify cutting and it just pissed me off. YES, you had a bad life and obviously you hate it and heck, here, have a medal for the Worst Life Ever – you win. But in the second half of the book more introspection was shared and even some regrets. I got a feeling that situations were shared because they were just awful, and at one point in the story she goes so far as to say that when you’re a kid you don’t know what you’re feeling, only that it’s an awful feeling. So true. So, I’m glad I made it through the entire book because it ends with a hopefulness and goodness in her future. I appreciate that she found a few teachers who looked past the surface and considered there’s a bright mind wanting to be led and to be shaped. Good teachers like that are life changing. Their impact is eternal. She seems to be doing well now, and I hope that the scars left behind don’t carry anger and hurt so much anymore as introspection, forgiveness and love so that she can enjoy and love her life. Another thing I appreciated was the quickie course on “goth” she provided. I was done with the bar scene by ’88 and didn’t understand goth at all. She even provides a pseudo dance instruction… I tried it out… I can’t pull it off!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Selina Bartels

    Good book with a deep dive into teenage angst. It was an interesting peek into the emergence of goth obsession.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicole G.

    While this was well written, its wrapper, if you will, doesn't match its contents. The "runaway" portion of the book is quite brief compared to the rest of it. The flow of the narrative was also a bit jerky and could've used some editing. For a book about a Canadian teen hanging out with goth kids in the nineties, it was entertaining. But that's not how it was billed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Dows

    Good not great. Little odd to be named "stray" - indicating that she ran away, then show that she didn't really. I didn't really find myself rooting for Tanya - I wanted to, but I couldn't connect with her attitude. She doesn't want to move back to her mother's, yet won't get a job to prevent that happening? Underwhelming.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Douglas cochran

    Brutal honesty in self portrayal.... The author was brutally honest in her portrayal of her childhood and her feelings toward her parents and siblings. To put these feelings on paper for the world to read must have been difficult. I almost had the intuition that she edited many aspects of her life in the book; ;though this was an excellent read as it was. I would enjoy seeing this author continue her journey and write another extension of her life. It was an inspiring tale!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.