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What We Buried
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What We Buried
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Told from the split viewpoints of Liv and Jory, Kate A. Boorman's What We Buried is a psychological thrill ride that deftly explores how memories can lie, how time can bend, and how reconciling the...
Told from the split viewpoints of Liv and Jory, Kate A. Boorman's What We Buried is a psychological thrill ride that deftly explores how memories can lie, how time can bend, and how reconciling the...
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  • Told from the split viewpoints of Liv and Jory, Kate A. Boorman's What We Buried is a psychological thrill ride that deftly explores how memories can lie, how time can bend, and how reconciling the truth can be a matter of life or death.

    "Do you ever just want to be believed?"

    Siblings Liv and Jory Brewer have grown up resenting each another. Liv—former pageant queen and reality TV star—was groomed for a life in the spotlight, while her older brother, Jory, born with a partial facial paralysis, was left in the shadows. The only thing they have in common is contempt for their parents.

    Now Liv is suing her mom and dad for emancipation, and Jory views the whole thing as yet another attention-getting spectacle. But on the day of the hearing, their parents mysteriously vanish, and the siblings are forced to work together. Liv feels certain she knows where they are and suspects that Jory knows more than he's telling...which is true.

    What starts as a simple overnight road trip soon takes a turn for the dangerous and surreal. And as the duo speeds through the deserts of Nevada, brother and sister will unearth deep family secrets that force them to relive their pasts as they try to retain a grip on the present.

About the Author-

  • Kate A. Boorman is an award-winning writer from the Canadian prairies. She is the author of the Winterkillseries; Winterkill, Darkthaw and Heartfire. She was born in Nepal, grew up in the small town of Rimbey, Alberta, and now lives in Edmonton, where she wrangles her family and schemes up travel to faraway lands. Kate has a MA in Dramatic Critical Theory and has held an odd assortment of jobs, from accordion accompanist to qualitative research associate. She has a fondness for nature, though birds tend to worry her a great deal.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2018
    Exploring the malleability of memory, time, and reality, Boorman (Heartfire, 2016, etc.) sends two estranged siblings on a surreal road trip in search of their dysfunctional parents.Eighteen-year-old Jory Brewer, born with his face partially paralyzed by Moebius syndrome, grew up resenting his now 16-year-old sister. Liv grew up in the spotlight of beauty pageants with their histrionic mother, leaving Jory to deal with their volatile, alcoholic father. But when their parents vanish just as Liv's about to sue them for emotional damages (again), the siblings join forces. Driving through the Nevada heat in pursuit of their parents, they detour abruptly into a surreal landscape, haunted by déjà vu at every turn. Some readers might guess where the story's heading, but the destination takes a back seat to painstaking character development as Liv's and Jory's alternating perspectives poignantly reckon with their individual and shared past and present. The author deftly handles a number of issues, including disability and the skeevy underside of pageants and reality shows, but the overarching theme is a sensitive exploration of child abuse and neglect. Though their parents are caricatures, Jory and Liv each grapple with realistic damage, such as rages, fear of being like one's parent(s), and learned helplessness. As the siblings finally compare notes, their reconciliation gives closure to the otherwise open ending. Jory and Liv are assumed white; Liv has a tentative crush on a girl.Vexing, poignant, and thought-provoking. (Thriller. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2019

    Gr 10 Up-Livinia Brewer is a teenage beauty pageant queen and Jory is her brother. Liv is suing her parents for the money that she earned during her pageants and being a part of a reality television show. All the while, Jory, who has Moebius syndrome, has been in the background. Both siblings harbor grudges against the other and their parents for their dysfunctional upbringing yet must now join forces after their parents go missing hours before the jury was to return a verdict on Liv's case. Liv's memories and Jory's questions are all starting to add up to something sinister and disturbing. Boorman's psychological thriller is fast-paced. Focused on only the Brewer family and several additional people, this drama is character-driven and features nonlinear sequences that divert attention from the present to the past and future fate of the family. The circuitous storytelling creates an added layer of mystery that borders on magical realism yet this work has a classic whodunit feel at its foundation. VERDICT More realistic mysteries are needed and this one fits the profile of a popular teen thriller. Add to your collections.-Alicia Abdul, Albany High School, NY

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus "Vexing, poignant, and thought-provoking."

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    Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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