Anke S Father Is Abusive But Not To Her He Attacks Her Brother And Sister, But She S Just An Invisible Witness In A House Of Horrors, On The Brink Of Disappearing Altogether Until She Makes The Volleyball Team At School At First Just Being Exhausted After Practice Feels Good, But As Anke Becomes Part Of The Team, Her Confidence Builds When She Learns To Yell Mine To Call A Ball, She Finds A Voice She Didn T Know Existed For The First Time, Anke Is Seen And Heard Soon, She S Imagining A Day That Her Voice Will Be Loud Enough To Rescue Everyone At Home Including Herself Goodreads asks what do you think Well, where do I begin I read this book in one sitting, roughly one hour Took me roughly another hour to return to reality Written in verse, a form I absolutely love, when done correctly, I am Furniture unravels the lives of a family plagued by abuse sexual, physical, mental, and emotional abuse The story reveals the rawness of emotion and the roller coaster of feelings that exist when an individual develops her ability to want something better There were moments when I questioned the insanity of not speaking up sooner, but Chaltas weaves a story in which it is easy to understand the protagonist s choices I found myself feeling guilty devouring the book in an effort to find out what happens Embarrassment ran through my cheeks when certain aspects of the abuse were so blatantly described In the end, pride in Anke trumped all emotions I am Furniture tells the powerful story of taking back ownership of one s life and standing up for those that may not have the courage to stand up for themselves A heartfelt reminder that we are in this crazy thing called life together. This book just didn t work for me It s a novel in verse, which I usually like very much But I don t think that the story should have been told that way I think it should have been a regular novel.The verse alternated between pretty sophomoric stuff, I supposed in an attempt to make the voice of the 14 year old protagonist authentic, and some high level word usage within the verse,which would not fit a 14 year old living in the situation.The father is over the top abusive beats up the son, beats on and rapes the middle daughter, but doesn t touch the younger daughter Hence the title The mother, out of fear of something, has looked the other way, tried to not rock the boat It s freaky, creepy, and I suppose accurate for some situations The middle daughter does nothing because the father has told her he will kill her if she tells, and indeed, his anger is such that it would be reasonable for her to believe him So she goes to great lengths to protect herself, including using the pill but how did she get the scrip without parent involvement she s a minor only through a Planned Parenthood office clinic perhaps except she s not indigent, and someone should have put 2 and 2 together.There s an attempt to use volleyball as a some sort of metaphor for confidence, I think, but it doesn t work for me In fact, the creepy sections are thrown in amidst a large amount of volleyball practice, and it was so weird If that was the point, OK, but I am not so sure.All in all, not my favorite book within the genre of abusive parents. I am always there.But they don t care if I ambecause I am furniture.I don t get hitI don t get fondledI don t get lovebecause I am furnitureSuits me fine.Anke has a difficult home life, though that is putting it mildly Her father is abusive She sees all Hears all Yet though a witness, she s somehow avoided being the subject of his abuse Though witnessing it is damaging enough as it is Can a teen girl break out of her silence and get help for her troubled family Because I Am Furniture is a verse novel about hard issues physical, verbal, and sexual abuse With all the negative going on in her life, Anke finds great joy in the one positive of her life volleyball Can what she learns on the court change her life off the court Here s one of the poems I enjoyed from the novel They call usNopesthe out crowd,we don t fit theirdog show guidelineswealthy beautiful.We call themYupsthey have toall agree,yup each otherevery day on every thing.And we sayNope, don twant any partof your Yuppitudeso tightsociety will burstwith any changeof thought.But being a fractured, momentary gatheringand not an actual collective,we sayNopeindividuallywith scrambled cadenceand theirYupis waylouder 25 26 This review was originally published on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves Thalia Chaltas Because I am Furniture exemplifies the unique power of novels in verse There are a lot of yougn adult novels about family violence, and many of them are excellent However, in Because I am Furniture, the verse form allows the reader to experience the house of horrors in which Anke, the main character, lives.Fourteen year old Anke s siblings are terrorized by their abusive father while her mother passively watches, seemingly accepting the violence and sexual abuse of her children Anke, however, is simply ignored.I am always there.But they don t care if I am because I am furniture I don t get hit I don t get fondled I don t get love because I am furniture Suits me fine.Anke is a younger narrator than I usually prefer she s 14 and a high school freshman I do think this was a barrier to my getting into the story initially, because she lacks some maturity, particularly in how she deals with friends at school However, Anke joins the volleyball team and it utterly transforms her, as sports often do and other activities like music, drama, debate team, whatever.Her on the ground holding up the wrapper, me with my hands up in victory, The CROWD GOES WIIILLLD Two senior guys stroll by,eyebrows raised.We grin Volleyball has taught me to yell.Not only has volleyball taught Anke to yell, and stand up for herself and others, it s also taught her about friendships.She develops a friendship with another girl from the team with a troubled homelife, Rona, and this helps her grow self assured I loved that in this novel, while there is a minor love interest plot, this new friendship is important to the novel and Anke s transformation That aspect to Because I am Furniture was extremely uplifting.Unlike the previous book I read dealing with family violence, I really connected with Anke she s tough and intelligent, but not artificially so It read as appropriate and realistic for someone her age who s been through a lot and has managed to remain whole The character development is quite outstanding for such a relatively short novel.HoweverIf you are bothered by intense descriptions of violence and abuse, I have to warn you that this is likely not be the book for you.I struggled through Because I am Furniture at points, particularly when Anke witnesses the abuse of her siblings and wonders if it would be better to be in their places, not so she can same them from their suffering, but because she at least would not be ignored and invisible It was a struggle being in Anke s head at many, many points in Because I am Furniture, He went into Yaicha s roomlast nightafter he hit heracross the mouthfor readingCosmo magazine.I burned in my blood, I turned to Momas we stood in the halland inside my head screamed,DO something Her eyes glazed and widelike an injured cat,her mouth pulled tight, Mom sighed in a voice that didn t match, It ll be okay.He s just making peace with her And she walked away. Because I am Furniture is filled with moments such as these The experience of reading this book was extremely frustrating at times because I, like Anke, was extremely angered by her mother s apathy toward what her children are experiencing that s what it appears to be, given that we re experiencing everything through Anke s eyes And then I had to pull myself out of the reading book, and take some deep breaths before diving back into the pages.And, that, as I mentioned earlier, is why Thalia Chaltas debut is such a strong example of the power of the verse form.FNL Character Rating Tyra, in the Humble Pie episode.A younger voice than I usually read, but the intensity of the verse made up for that for me Tough read because of the violence and abuse. The plot was good and the verse was actually not terrible, but the ending felt abrupt and I didn t really connect to the characters at all. Not only are the verses in this book beautifully written with meaningful poetic devices, if you re inclined toward noting that sort of thing, the topic is unfortunately, always contemporary.There s so much I could say about this fantastic book, but I ll focus in on a couple of points Anke believes it s better to be like a piece of furniture in her family Those who are noticed are hit and sexually used and abused She s the youngest and somehow ignored in nearly every aspect of the family s life, most importantly by her abusive father.The mother, who most will have no sympathy for, is somewhat human and sympathetic at the end of the book She speaks of how she had thought doing nothing was best for her family, that she d once truly loved this man she called her husband Yikes It is horrible to think that a mother could turn her eyes away from the horror of her and her children s lives to protect the sanctity of the family There s nothing sacred about a man who rapes and beats Still, it s not an atypical response from wives of such men Finally, Anke becomes noticed and does something to bring the beast to justice The message in the book is that victims have power, if they will take it It s also about the love that the family had for one another and how they can pull together to changed what seems destined to spiral down until it s reached the very depths of hell.I caution people who may read this book It s tough It s horrific It s a welcome to a world of horror read On the positive side, it s beautifully written, demonstrates an attitude of personal power and change and it brings you into the mind of a girl of fourteen who has many qualities to admire and who finally overcomes circumstances that appear so abysmal that hope seems buried so deep that it can never see the light of day It s from the heart of a person who writes with empathy and hope It demonstrates that those who feel powerless can prevail. To be perfectly honest, this book would have been better in my opinion if it was not poetry Poetry is just not my thing The character development of Anke was great, she finally spoke up about what was going on at home You got to read what you got to read in school Still a good book though. This is the kind of book that they need to have in schools, because child abuse and domestic violence is still alarmingly common and still not a whole lot of kids speak out about it because they don t know how or what the consequences will be Because I Am Furniture is an empowering story of one girl struggling to find her voice, not just in sports but also in the attempt to save her siblings from the brunt of her father s abuse She s always been the lucky one, largely ignored by him and thus able to avoid the worst of it, but still she knows her family is horribly dysfunctional at best, even herself, wanting so badly to be noticed that she actually envies her sister for being raped because at least then her dad would be paying attention to her I m not sure what to think of that but it s very disturbing.Playing volleyball gives her a voice she never knew she had, and with that she learns the importance of standing up for not just herself, but also her family Written entirely in verse, Because I Am Furniture isn t the first book to bring up themes of child abuse but it s still very powerful and well written, if not rather jarring in some of its content. Because I Am Furniture is written in verse, and it works It s quite a powerful novel that deals with an interesting subject child abuse Of course, we ve seen it, read it, heard it all before But Anke s not the one being abused, she s the witness of the abuse, which is probably equally as tough.Even though it s a thick enough book, because it s in verse, it goes very quickly I was able to read it in one day, almost in one go I however, thought that maybe it was a little too short There perhaps wasn t as much depth and detail as I may have liked It describes her life, her experiences with volleyball, her journey to finding the strength to speak out But that s really it I would have liked to learn about of the characters opinions Exactly why her father abused them, why no one really did anything I mean, obviously the family was scared of the father But I just think there could have been to it.It s a very simple book in that way There isn t really that much other stuff or subplots It isn t really a bad thing, but well I thought there would be to it.I do like the change in Anke I like how at first she s timid and frankly a little weak, but as she plays volleyball, her confidence grows and grows She learns a lot and I like the fact that it comes from a sport, in this case volleyball Through volleyball, Anke discovers a strength and beauty within herself, and others notice For instance, she attracts the attention of males now, including her father Which is disgusting.Overall, it s a great fast read that encourages one to be able to stop abuse It reminded me a little of North of Beautiful, but with a lot less But the abuse is the same, always from the father Why is that Or maybe I just haven t read a lot of books with an abusive mother, except for Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen.Read it if you like verse Read it if you re interesting in learning and understanding of child abuse Read it if you want to be able to feel good at the end Read it if you want to feel empowered.
Thalia Chaltas Author, Because I Am Furniture, Viking, 2009 worked hard at her luck to get her Young Adult novel Because I Am Furniture published by Viking She has been writing for children since just before the turn of the century The current century Running her medical transcription business has taught her the value of editing, since most physicians don t sound brilliant without a transcrip
- 352 pages
- Because I am Furniture
- Thalia Chaltas
- 01 May 2018 Thalia Chaltas