On the outside, Shelly Frank lives a normal teenage life, balancing her gas station job and a budding new relationship with a boy from school. But on the inside, she’s harboring a dark secret: her mother is an extreme hoarder. Within the pristine, outer walls of their beautiful New Jersey home, Shelly and her mother are living amidst piles of collected trash from her mother’s disorder, and Shelly is at her breaking point.
By some miracle, Shelly is offered a chance to escape when she receives a plane ticket to Florida from her estranged father, but she’s met with a decision: should she flee this life of filth and seize the opportunity of a future in the Sunshine State? Or should she risk her own health and sanity by staying with her mother who is helpless without her? When Shelly becomes gravely sick from years of living in her mother’s nest, her decision is staring her in the face. She needs to save herself, but her mother is willing to do everything in her power to prevent that from happening.
This powerful YA novel exposes the gruesome realities of mental disorders and the emotional toils that many face when they are consumed by their illness. However, it also highlights the beauty of forgiveness, self-love, healing, and the necessary steps Shelly and her mother must take on the road to recovery.
Average rating from 19 members
Buried Beneath follows Shelly, a seemingly typical New Jersey teen that harbors a difficult secret: her mom has a hoarding disorder. Shelly's home is filled to the brim with all of the things that her mother cannot part with, and the filth is making Shelly physically sick. When her father sends her a ticket to stay with him in Florida, Shelly jumps at the chance, but is also terrified of the possible outcomes of leaving her mother. Buried Beneath is an incredibly powerful book and one that I could not put down. I liked that the story is not only a depiction of hoarding, a condition that is not often talked about outside of the context of the television show, but also focuses on the impacts the disorder has on the family members. Shelly is great main character with a lot of depth; the reader will quite literally feel all of her struggles. She loves/hates/blames both of her parents so much, and experiences many internal conflicts with her situation. I feel like I cannot give enough praise to the author for how well-written this book is, and for shining a light on this topic. The description of the book does a good job laying out potential trigger warnings, but the reader should be prepared for some scenes that are quite difficult to stomach. I highly recommend Buried Beneath to both YA readers and general fiction fans. Thanks to Netgalley and GenZ Publishing for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.
Wow! I needed a break from Fantasy, and Buried Beneath smacked me in the face with its realism--but in a good way. Shelly and her mother have been on their own since Shelly's father left them. What Shelly begins to understand as she grows up is her mother is a hoarder. Although Shelly is able to keep the outside of the house and the yard--Shelly is amazing with plants and flowers--immaculate, keeping her mother's secret becomes increasingly hard. Add to that a seemingly out of the blue plane ticket to Florida from her father and a new relationship with Joshua, and Shelly's life that she has worked so hard to keep up the appearance of normalcy unravels. I love Kelly Ann Hopkins' treatment of Shelly's journey from being the adult in the parent/child relationship to recognizing that she must take care of herself first. It is fraught with questions, setbacks, and pitfalls and is free from over-sentimentality. Her treatment of Shelly's mother's hoarding disorder is realistic without falling in the trap of sensationalizing it. Buried Beneath is an important book for classroom and library shelves because students (and adults alike) need to see characters overcoming obstacles, taking control of their lives and out of control situations, and coming out on the other side stronger.
I read this book in 1 sitting. I could not put this book down. It was so well written and detailed in the descriptions of the storyline and characters’ feelings. It is a great book for young adults/teens to feel like they are not alone in holding responsibility for their parents’ actions.
Hoarding is a disorder that is not written much about. This book gives you an inside perspective to living with a hoarder. It feels real and it still manages to have a happy ending.
WOW, this was a deep book and it made me cry TONS of times, the life Shelly lived, and the things she had to go through- LIKE WOW I don't know how she managed that, the book is so inspirational!! My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
Well, it made me cry, so it definitely got me in the feels. They say the best stories are where you put your main character up in a tree and throw rocks at her. In this case, Shelly wasn't up in a tree, she was in a house with so much clutter the dog got lost and died in it, and was never found. There are books everywhere, and her mother doesn't let her throw away pizza boxes that still have some left. It is so bad. She has no friends, is taking classes on line, and still has one more year before she is 18 and can leave the craziness of her mother's hoarding behind. Good story about the effects that this sort of mental disorder can have on a family, and how hard Shelly works to try to keep things slightly normal, while her mother goes downhill. Gut wrenching, and I wasn't sure how it was going to end. <em>Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.</em>
Buried Beneath follows Shelly, a seventeen-year-old girl who is drowning in her mother's illness. Due to her mother's hoarding disorder, her house is unlivable, filled with useless items, old food, and trash. When Shelly gets the chance to leave her mother's mess behind and live with her estranged father, she must decide whether to put herself first or get buried in the hoard. I could not put this book down. Shelly's compelling and complicated relationships with both of her parents and the ways they have failed her drove this novel and pulled at my heartstrings. The effect that hoarding disorder can have on not only the person themselves but their families is not something I've personally read much about, but after this novel, I want to look more into it. Kelly Ann Hopkins keeps you guessing about how it is going to end but hoping against hope that Shelly will find the happiness and freedom she deserves. Highly recommend this one!
This book in 3 words: Significant. Painful. Impressive Buried Beneath is about Shelly, a teenager living in New Jersey, and her quest to keep her hoarding mother a secret... no matter what it takes. Shelly's home has been inhabitable for years, and the determined teenager has tried to do what she can to keep herself safe and sane. Shelly meets Joshua just as her father sends a plane ticket to Florida for her birthday. Shortly after she arrives, the long term impact of her home environment catches up, and she's incredibly sick. I read this book in a single sitting. Buried Beneath takes a sensitive disorder, like hoarding, and shows how it impacts families and relationships. It also provided an insight to something I'm not very familiar with in an honest and realistic manner. I was emotional reading about how resilient and determined Shelley was in the wake of a truly terrible situation. My heart also softened with each interaction between her and Joshua. The dynamic between Joshua and Shelly is a stunning contrast among the other broken relationships. I can't get over this writing. Kelly Ann Hopkins writes all sorts of characters into this story and I bought into every single one. I was fully invested in Shelly and found myself frustrated and upset through the pages. I'm so impressed with this story, as a whole, and what it has to offer the reader. I highly recommend this to anyone... middle grade to adult. This book should be featured at every high school and public library. There is much to be learned about hoarding but also how situations like this transpire. It also shows what our interactions can do to people... both good and bad.