Review: All That You Can Leave Behind by David Thyssen

Title: All That You Can Leave Behind

Author: David Thyssen

Published: September 17th 2010

Sypnosis: Imagine being stranded on a deserted island, with the birds and the trees as your only companion. To thirteen year old Sage, the Caribbean island he just moved to might as well be deserted. At the brink of adolescence, and away from the turmoil of his old life in southern California, he is now left to deal with a history of abuse. Invisible to his young mother, who seems to be more interested in partying and smoking weed with her boyfriend than in her teenage son, and devoid of any friends, his lonely world seems without escape…
As he matures, he learns that he carries his own key to happiness inside and he slowly gains confidence in himself and in the world around him. Ultimately, he discovers only he can turn his hate into love and that, in order to survive, he will have to leave his past behind.

Status: Read from December 02 to 03, 2010 — I own a copy

My Thoughts:

All That You Can leave Behind is the story of Sage who is struggling to survive an abusive father, a disinterested mother and social isolation in the midst of a Carribean paradise.
Written in the first person, Thyssen has captured his protagonists voice with an astonishing authenticity. Sage is a troubled thirteen year old boy and his thoughts and actions reflect that. Thyssen communicates the complexity of a teen’s thought processes and emotions along with the way they view the world. It’s easy to empathise with Sage even if your own experiences are dissimilar. I ached for this lost boy and felt his pain and confusion and desperate need for love deeply.
Thyssen was creative and clever in using a blog to give his character his voice. The immediacy of his point of view is crucial to the realism of his character. I did feel that at times that there was some repetition of information that may have been true to Sage but was a minor irritant to read.
I felt that the secondary characters were also well developed espcially given we only have Sage’s point of view to show what he knows and thinks about them. I wanted to slap his mother more than once and thank John and his wife for their decency.
The themes of the novel can be confronting but are handled with a raw honesty. It is Sage’s voice that ensures that the details of his experiences, while often shocking, are never salacious. Everything is layered in strong emotion that both highlights and cushions the bad and the good. There is a thread of hope that Thyssen nurtures that stops the story becoming overwhelmed by the darker aspects.
All That You Can Leave Behind is well written with an unique protagonist and thought provoking premise. Challenging, yet ultimately uplifting, this semi biographical work of fiction is a worthy read.
Please join me tomorrow to learn more about David Thyssen and his book and David will generously be offering a giveaway of All That You Can Leave Behind to one lucky reader.

All That You Can Leave Behind is available

@ Amazon

@ Smashwords

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Author Interview & Giveaway: David Thyssen « book'd out
  2. Kelly
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 18:15:36

    I really liked your review. you don’t find books as intense and insightful as this one often!
    Thanks for the rec 🙂



  3. Trackback: Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday Dec 17th « book'd out
  4. Mona Garg
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 09:33:33

    Thanks for your review. Sounds like an interesting read.



  5. Trackback: Winner! All That You Can Leave Behind by David Thyssen « book'd out

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