Title: How To Make Friends With The Dark
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Source: ARC Paperback from Publisher
Publisher: Rock The Boat
Publication Date: 11th April 2019
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
“The story of an awful, universe-gone-mad-mistake, and one girl’s emotional battle for clarity and forgiveness
Tiger’s mother has always been her whole world, but now she’s sixteen her mother’s control over everything in her life is suffocating. Just when Tiger feels she can no longer bear the way her life is managed, the unimaginable happens and her mother dies. As she slowly begins to make a way for herself, Tiger creates a new kind of family, some related and some not, who will love her and travel forward with her.
This is how you make friends with the dark.”
I only just finished this book about half an hour ago (it is currently 3:30am as I write this) and I wanted to do my review as soon as because I have so much to say about this absolutely stunning book. This week marks the 9th anniversary of my Granda dying so it was a very poignant time for me to be reading something that deals so heavily with loss however, in a way it definitely helped me cope with some of the feelings I was having.
As the summary states, How To Make Friends With The Dark follows sixteen year old Tiger following the sudden death of her mother and all the feelings and situations she has to deal with afterwards. Tiger broke my heart, she was so young and naive and it physically hurt seeing her trying to come to terms with such a huge loss in her life. Kathleen Glasgow’s writing style helped massively when it came to feeling every emotion Tiger was going through.
The characters in this book, ugh, I can’t put into words how much I adore them all. Cake. I honestly adore Cake’s character so much. She is someone that everybody needs in their life. Cake gave up a lot to stay with Tiger, even before the loss of her mum and she was such a true friend that did everything in her power to make sure Tiger was safe and doing okay. If everyone had a friend like her, the world would be a much better place. She was the personification of hope. Thaddeus is another character I just wanted to protect with everything I have. Another child who had experienced so much awfulness in his life and everything he had been put through made me so angry towards the people who were supposed to protect him. I’m so sad that there wasn’t as much Thaddeus as I’d have liked and I really want more of him in another story! I also want to see more of him and Tiger together. Both children could relate in ways that others can’t and he was really good for her. I feel like they helped heal each other in some way. Lastly, I want to talk about Shayna. I have so many mixed feelings towards this character. There’s respect, anger and disappointment throughout this novel and I couldn’t tell which way it was going to go. I just wanted someone to come and help Tiger rather than her go to the uncertainty that is fostering and when Shayna came along, I hoped that would be exactly what was going to happen. Kathleen did a great job of holding the reader in suspense because you never knew what was going to happen.
As mentioned above Kathleen did such a fantastic job of making you feel every single emotion Tiger went through. I liked that she didn’t hide anything about how much loss can affect someone’s thoughts and actions. When you go through such a traumatic loss, especially so young, you’re not going to make the most rational/responsible choices. You’re not thinking straight and you have all these questions running through your head and Glasgow captured that perfectly. It all seemed so real and it times I just sat crying because my heart hurt so much for Tiger. I just wanted a positive outcome for her.
How To Make Friends With The Dark is an absolutely stunning book about many different types of loss; the loss of a parent, the loss of innocence and the loss of belonging. But, it is also a book of hope, love and new beginnings. There’s so many ups and downs throughout the book and you never actually know how things are going to turn out for Tiger because as soon as things pick up, something else comes along and knocks it all back down. I cannot recommend this book enough. I feel like it’s a book that can help so many people cope with loss in a number of many ways. Please, if you get the chance to read this book then do it as soon as you can. You will not regret it, I promise.
Thank you to Rock The Boat for sending me an ARC, I’m so grateful and thankful for being introduced to Tiger’s story.