The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

I received an arc of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

What I liked:
-This was a pretty quick story, so I didn't lose interest.
-Cool cover!
-It had an air of mystery to it, but it wasn't really ''a mystery'' book.

Overall, it was a pretty good story, but not one I would read again.
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The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster is a quirky story about families and friendship. It was not what I was expecting as I started reading but it turned into a sweet message about searching  - searching for answers to family problems, searching for friendships both old and new and searching to be understood. The story centers around a boy, Hartley who is trying to understand why his older brother has run away and the impact it is having on his family. He is struggling to focus on anything around him but when little postcards of inspiration start showing up along his path he sets out on a mission to discover where they are coming from and who G.O. is. The story moves along at a quick pace and my only complaint is that it came to an end too soon. I guess that is a good thing if a story leaves you wanting more. I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own. Thank you to NewGalley for sharing this one with me!
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A short and sweet book aimed at the young reader, The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster is the story of Hartley Staples, a young man about to graduate from Middle School. He should be enjoying the last few weeks of school, and spending time with family and friends but all he can think about is his older brother. Jackson has run away from home, and ever since his family has fallen apart, leaving Hartley to pretty much fend for himself. When the time comes to pick a subject for one last big school project, he really can't think of anything that he is passionate about. When he finds a postcard with a mysterious message signed with only the initials G.O. his curiosity is piqued, and as time goes on and more cards turn up in the most unexpected of places , Hartley finds himself trying to track down the mysterious artist. 
I really liked the inclusion of the collage style art pieces created by "G.O." in the book, they were beautifully created and though simple , they were also thought provoking. Hartley is a great character, and I really liked the brief impressions we got of Gretchen too. It was interesting to see the problems both young people were struggling with, and how they seemed to help each other despite not even meeting for most of the book.
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed this book. While it was a very quick read, it said what it needed to. I loved how they included pictures of the works in the book as it gives it a whole new level. Both the characters of Hartley and Gretchen we very interesting and I loved how much of an impact they had on each 0thers lives with having such little contact with each other. The author made me think about how everyone has their own story and their own problems. 
I'd recommend this book to so many people and libraries and parents because I feel it's such a unique story that many people can take something from. This book isn't that challenging in its language and perfect so many different readers.
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