Review: Rabbit Ears by Maggie di Vries

Posted August 27, 2014 by lockhartbecca in Uncategorized / 4 Comments

Rabbit Ears

Author: Maggie di Vries
Series: Standalone
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: ebook
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 5 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***

from Edelweiss:
Kaya, who is adopted
and multiracial, has just been released from a Youth Detention Centre and is
carrying a painful secret: she was sexually abused by a neighbour for years.
Kaya keeps away, repeatedly disappearing into a life of sex work and addiction.
Meanwhile, her sister, Beth, uses food and a rediscovered love of magic tricks
to escape her own troubles. Though both girls struggle through darkness and
pain, they eventually find their way towards a moment of illumination and

This powerful YA novel
is rooted in the tragic life of the author’s sister, Sarah-a victim of serial
killer Robert Pickton and the subject of Maggie de Vries’s Governor General’s
Literary Award-nominated memoir for adults, Missing Sarah. Sarah’s experiences
as an abused child and teen runaway inspired the character Kaya, and she
appears in the story when Kaya meets her on the streets. Set in 1998,
Vancouver’s missing women form a subtle backdrop for the story.
This book was a
powerful and moving story that brought me to tears. Kaya’s story had me feeling
raw by the end. I wanted to reach into this book and help her so badly, but
there was nothing that anyone really could do. Kaya had to figure things out
and come around. It was difficult to watch her make the same mistakes over and
over again. To relapse and go back to the life of prostitution that allows her
to get her next fix. I will warn you that this book is very graphic and
probably not appropriate for younger children. The author doesn’t hold back
anything and tells an honest story, no matter how unpleasant it may be at
What really broke my
heart about this one was the fact that it was inspired by real events. The
author’s sister was a victim of the serial murderer that took women from the
streets of Vancouver. The fact that her sister went through the same things
that Kaya did made my heart break for her.
Something I really
loved about this book was Kaya’s sister. Her emotions were so real. She wanted
to help Kaya desperately. Reached out a hand time and time again only to have
it slapped away. But at the same time, she felt angry at Kaya. Mad that she got
to run away. Mad that the world seemed to revolve around her. I felt like this
was such an honest reaction. But regardless of these feelings, Beth never gave up
on Kaya. Not once. She stuck with her to the end and showed her that no matter
what she did, no matter how far or how many times she fell, she would always be
there for her.
Another interesting
thing about this book was the POV. We alternate between Beth and Kaya. Beth’s
part is written in first person and Kaya’s is written in 2nd person.
It’s very rare to find books written in 2nd person. At first it
threw me off, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I also love that there’s a
definite reason it was written that way which is explained at the end.
This was truly a moving
story, one that will stick with me for a long time. It brought me to tears and
made my heart ache. Kaya’s story is one of strength and resilience even through
all the pain and suffering she has endured. Not only that, this is a story of
family and the strong bonds that form between siblings and parents. Happy
reading all!  
Have you read this book? Did it move you to tears? What did you think of the POV and the sister relationship? 

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4 responses to “Review: Rabbit Ears by Maggie di Vries

  1. I'm not sure if I want to read this, it sounds a bit too raw and emotional for me. And to think it's inspired my real events…that's heartbreaking. Sounds like it was a really powerful read. ~Pam

    • Yeah, it was pretty intense, not going to lie. It's definitely not going to be for everybody. It definitely makes you stop and think and really opens your eyes to how people can get so far down that they resort to things like prostitution.

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