Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (Bohjalian)

Book Reviews
A chilling and heartbreaking suspense novel for readers who like the poetry of Emily Dickinson.... Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is ambitious and poignant thanks to the voice of its teen narrator.... It’s a novel about survival and the power of literature and poetry.
Bob Minzesheimer  - USA Today

Bohjalian delivers a thoroughly engrossing and poignant coming-of-age story set against a nightmarish backdrop as real as yesterday's headlines from Fukushima and Chernobyl. And in Emily he's created a remarkable and complicated teenager, a passionate, intelligent girl equally capable of cutting herself with a razor blade and quoting Emily Dickinson, then explaining it all to us in a wry, honest voice as distinctive as Holden Caulfield's.
Ann Levin - Associated Press

Heartbreaking....scrupulously realistic....Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is a novel for adults...but readers of any age who love John Green’s novels might also find Shepard’s story, sobering as it is, an awesome one.
Jim Higgins - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A "must read’ book.... [A] brilliant story of a young woman living an unexpected life, making difficult decisions and dealing with an ugly aftermath.
Amanda St. Amand - St. Louis Post Dispatch

A masterful storyteller...Bohjalian hits every note. His characters have depth, his story sings. It’s a book that works well for either teens or adults.
Beth Colvin - New Orleans Advocate

Bohjalian’s inventive latest imagines a nuclear meltdown in Vermont. Sixteen-year-old Emily loses her father—the plant’s chief engineer—in the accident, and she flees the town to escape its vitriol. Though she ends up homeless, she never gives up on home. Emily’s voice is droll, her journey enthralling and indelible (Best New Books).
People Magazine

Bohjalian’s impressive 16th novel charts the life of a teenage girl after a nuclear disaste.... Through her first-person narration, readers become intimately familiar with Emily.... Her admiration for kindred spirit Emily Dickinson serves to humanize her plight, as does an epiphany in the books’ bittersweet conclusion.
Publishers Weekly

Emily Shepard is hiding out in a shelter made of ice and trash bags after a nightmarish meltdown at a nuclear plant in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.... More heartfelt, engaged work from relentlessly best-selling, best-book author Bohjalian, and how can you not love a heroine who identifies with Emily Dickinson?
Library Journal

Bohjalian once again reveals an uncanny talent for crafting a young female protagonist who is fatally flawed, but nevertheless immensely likable...resonates with a message of hope, truth and the fragility of life. —Karen Ann Cullotta

The versatile Bohjalian has Emily tell her harrowing, tragic story retrospectively, under medical care. If only this well-meant and compelling tale offered more scenes depicting the shocking aftermath of a nuclear disaster to provide an even more arresting and significant context for traumatized yet tough and resilient young Emily’s sad, brave saga. —Donna Seaman

After a nuclear meltdown, a Vermont teen flees to the mean streets of Burlington.... Readers hoping for a futuristic novel imagining the aftermath of a Fukushima-type disaster in the United States may be disappointed—Bohjalian’s primary focus is on examining, in wrenching detail, the dystopia wrought by today’s economy. Emily’s voice is a compelling one, however, and hers is a journey readers will avidly follow
Kirkus Reviews

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