07 August 2010

Review: "Chasing Windmills" by: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Chasing Windmills by: Catherine Ryan Hyde


Released: March 4th, 2008
Publisher Flying Dolphin Press
Age: Adult/Young Adult
Pages: 262 (actual book, ignore goodreads)
Recommend Level: Med-high
Summary: Two people trapped by life's circumstances break free and find a place in the world where love is genuine and selfless. By the author of Pay It Forward.


Review: Walking through the library, I'm drawn to the "teen" or young adult section, but I decided to take a look around at the bigger are, the adult section. I wasn't planning on getting any books, just look around and make a note of books and authors. But I've seen this cover somewhere and the full summary about this book (on the book jacket) seemed really interesting. After checking Goodreads when I got home Catherine Ryan Hyde sounded so familiar, because she wrote the Young Adult book, Becoming Chloe. Unfortunately I haven't heard much about it in the blogging community about it, so I think I'll read it sometime & get everyone else on board...because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

This book centers around the lives of seventeen year old Sebastian and twenty-two(I'm assuming, by math) year old Maria. They meet on a New York subway line at Union Square and it completely changes their lives. For better and worse.

The dialogue between the two is minimalistic but you do get to know the characters when they're living their own lives. More so Sebastian than Maria. Even though the book is told between two POV's, I think the main focus is on Sebastian. So the cover kind of through me off a little.

Sebastian is a home-schooled 17 year old living with his over bearing father who only lets him outside long enough to go on his daily runs. He believes his mom is dead, because his father has told him so... But Sebastian has met a friend, an elderly woman, Delilah and he starts to learn that there's a whole other world out there. Sneaking out at night after his father has taken his sleeping pills he spends time on the subway and meets Maria. They don't speak much the first few times they have encountered each other, but Sebastian believes that he has found love.

Maria lives with her two kids, C.J. and Natalie and her abusive boyfriend, Carl.She's been fired from her job but doesn't know how to tell Carl, so every night when she's supposed to be at work she leaves and rides the subway for hours. She meets Sebastian and feels a different life with him, believing he's older than he is. Their relationship is almost non existent and she thinks are heading in the right direction. But it's only so long before Carl starts asking her the pay check she was supposed to receive weeks ago. And things take a turn for the worse when Carl becomes physically violent.

The relationship between Maria and Sebastian was inspiring, they're in a place in their lives when they realize it's not where they want to be. They know they deserve better, and Sebastian has just the place. The Mojave Desert in California. Telling her of the stars at night and the windmills in the day. Only adding to her desperate need to escape.

I felt many emotions reading this. I didn't cry, but it was definitely sad in some of the parts where the characters seemed to feel like nothing would ever go right. Like nothing would ever be okay. And I can completely understand that.

I can't really describe how the book made me feel, other than it is definitely a page turner and I loved the way Catherine Ryan Hyde gave the characters voice. It was if they were talking to you so you were right there along the journey with them.

Memorable quote: Anytime Delilah said anything!!

Cover: (not a fan of this cover.)

P.S. Please go here and vote for your favorite book cover, mine is the first one & I would LOVE it if you'd vote for that one!!!!
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Maira Gall