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2.19.2014

Review: The Art of Being Indifferent by Brooke Moss

The Art of Being Indifferent (The Twisted Family Tree #1) by Brooke Moss
Young Adult, Social Issues, Romance
Ebook $2.99 (278 pages, SELFPUBLISHED)
Posey's not the kind of girl who has a lot of friends. After bouncing from foster home to foster home she's only formed an attachment to her iPod, and the music that takes her away from the ugliness that surrounds her.
Drew Baxter's got life on a string, or so everyone thinks. Son of the town mayor, swim team champion, and the hottest guy on campus. Little does everyone know that life at Drew's home is dark, dangerous, and only getting worse.
When partnered together in a tutoring assignment from hell, Posey and Drew are surprised to find how much they have in common. Despite their need to keep what's going on under the surface a secret from the world, it becomes clear they know each other better than anyone else in the world can. Now Posey and Drew have to find a way to exist in a town that wants to keep them apart, and in a circle of classmates that wants them to stop blurring the social lines.
Above all, Drew and Posey need to escape the madness of their abusive parents, before they drag them down forever.

Author Site: website

Cry all the tears, both sad and happy ones!  (5 stars)

I have to preface this review by noting that I've begun to feel like I might be the wrong reviewer for Moss' work. Sometimes you find an author whose work continually speaks to you, even across genres, and Moss has very much become one of those for me. I won't say I'm partial by any means, but calling myself a fangirl wouldn't be overstating my love of her books either.

THE ART OF BEING INDIFFERENT is told from the perspectives of Posey and Drew, two young adults who seem about as opposite as they could possibly be. He's the handsome jock with a rich dad, she's the unwanted teenager bouncing around the foster system waiting to "age out". But when a teacher steps in and pushes them to work together to make their Lit grades passable, they evolve from hating one another to realizing they have a lot in common. The rest is a jumble of relationship struggles as they try to make their feelings work under pressure from their peers and the adults who make their lives a living hell.

When I first began reading I was really nervous about Posey. She's angry and almost venomous and for very good reasons. She and Drew seem like they'll be impossible to bring together because they're both very set in who they are. But as the story goes on they slowly warm to one another finding common ground and ultimately romance. I did feel like there was a bit of a jump from pure hate to a well-maybe-they're-okay attitude, as if there were a missing chapter early in the story but aside from that I found the romance to be an enjoyable aspect of the plot.

What mattered more to me than the romance though, was Posey's growth from the volatile foster kid she is at the start of the book. Having experience with abusive and neglectful parents and some knowledge of the foster system I was moved to tears more than once as Posey's issues were laid bare. But my empathy for her hurts was joined by hope and longing as she struggled with her feelings about being adopted by her foster family. I fell in love with the Coulters who reminded me very much of families I had known in my childhood and there were tears for them too because of their unconditional love.

TAOBI isn't without a few flaws but it's raw and emotive and for those of us lucky enough to have ties to the state it takes place in, very, very real. There were some chuckles to temper the moments I was choked up and a visceral need for Posey to find the love—both familial and romantic—she deserves. And if you're reading this review I beg one favor of you, should you choose to read TAOBI... please read the acknowledgements. As a fan I was aware of the author's own experience but was even more moved by the story (stupid tears, stop already!) having that glimpse into the roots, nay... the heart... of this one.



Notes: Purchased via Amazon.

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