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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Review #123: Dented Cans- Heather Walsh

Summary: A family secret is revealed during an ill-fated—yet hilarious—trip to Disney World.

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Sampson knows her family is not what you would call normal. Her father compulsively buys dented cans and has a particular fondness for cans without labels, which are extremely discounted because their contents are a mystery. Her mother takes countless pictures of her family and then glues them down into the pages of her scrapbooks, but does not allow anyone to look at them. Ryan, Hannah’s mischievous fourteen-year-old brother, is headed straight for the remedial track at the local community college, if he’s lucky. Ben, her eight-year-old brother, is a walking sound effects machine, who prefers to communicate with noises rather than words. While Hannah is focused on escaping her working-class Connecticut suburb, she also finds herself being tugged back home as she worries about her brother Ben.

Hannah’s parents inflict one last family vacation on the Sampson children, a trip that goes comically wrong almost from the get-go. Hannah is forced to confront her family’s past in Disney World, of all places, when an emotional argument prompts her parents to disclose a secret they have been keeping from the children for sixteen years. Ultimately, she must decide whether to leave her hometown and not look back, or to focus on helping her family.
Title: Dented Cans
Author: Heather Walsh
Pages: 150
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book was not for me. I found it to be very long for its 150 pages and I couldn't wait to be done reading it. I just didn't see any point to the story. It just followed around a very weird family that was trying to pretend they were normal and were failing at it. I found that the family didn't really so anything, they drug the children to Disneyworld even though they didn't want to go. I found that crazy because who wouldn't want to go to Disneyworld. There was one giant secret that some members of the family were hiding, which I also found very strange that no one had found out the secret before hand. I did appreciate that this is a teens story of how their life was unfair, but I just didn't enjoy the way that it was done.
I could not relate with any of the characters. I found Hannah to be a "goody, goody" who did whatever her parents wanted. She never talked back or acted out. She was more concerned with her grads and what university's to go to, then having any friends or going out and doing high school activities. Even her brothers didn't have any friends or would never go anywhere other then school. They were just strange people all around. 
Although I wasn't a fan of this book others might enjoy it. I would recommend this book to those who like reading contemporary novels and they can form their own opinion about this book. If the chance arose, I would still read other books by this author, I just didn't enjoy this one.

About this author

Heather Walsh grew up in North Haven, CT, fantastically close to Pepe's pizza.

She received a B.A. in English at Mary Washington College, which has been renamed to, drum roll please... the University of Mary Washington. This was after a failed attempt to name it Washington & Monroe University, because there aren't enough schools honoring dead Virginian men already. Heather graduated Phi Betta Kappa and summa cum laude, which sounds kind of fancy but really means she took easy classes.
She taught high school English in Brooklyn for one year, where she loved the students but not the system. She then joined corporate America and worked there for too many years as an IT trainer, project manager, business analyst, and SQL dabbler (select * from Dented_Cans).

Her favorite writer is Alice Munro, her favorite movie is The Godfather Parts I & II (tied for first), and her favorite TV show is The Wire. She has lived in some pretty neat places, including Brooklyn (kind of before it was hipster-cool to do so), Manhattan, and San Francisco. The unfortunate result of living in these locations is that she has become an obnoxious foodie.
She currently lives in Brookline, MA with her husband, Mike DeLucia, and their two children.

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