Without Tess

Without Tess Tess and Lizzie are sisters sisters as close as can be who share a secret world filled with selkies flying horses and a girl who can transform into a wolf in the middle of the night But when Lizzi

  • Title: Without Tess
  • Author: Marcella Pixley
  • ISBN: 9780374361747
  • Page: 303
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf in the middle of the night But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can t live in the real world any longer and leTess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf in the middle of the night But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can t live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister With the help of a school psychologist and Tess s battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go.

    One thought on “Without Tess”

    1. Without Tess is not at all what I expected it to be. Where I settled in for (another) YA book dealing with the loss of an older sister, it quickly became evident that I was reading a book unlike any I have read before.The premise is simple: Lizzie’s sister Tess died (just how is withheld from the reader until nearing the climax) and, years later, Lizzie is still coming to terms with everything that happened. The story is presented with flashbacks of Tess and Lizzie’s childhood as well as pre [...]

    2. Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!Without Tess is a whirlwind of a novel - running the gamut from emotional to sweet to disturbing, all easily within a few pages. It's a forthright and honest look at youth, childhood, grief and mental illness without shying away from darker moments or themes. Told in the very real voice of Elizabeth "Lizzie" Cohen, the first-person perspective makes the events of the novel with Tess much more personal, much more visceral for the reader than a more r [...]

    3. Without Tess is an achingly gorgeous read. The writing is so lyrical and the characters so vivid, I felt as if I were in the same room with them. The story focuses on Lizzie whose sister Tess died when she was younger. Six years later she is still coping with the grief.Eleven-year-old Tess lives in a fantasy world. In the beginning I was able to connect with Tess. Like her, I had a very active imagination when I was young. As the story moves forward, the reader realizes there is something mental [...]

    4. Tess Cohen is so thin you can almost see her bones through her skin. She has wild red hair and a personality that is fantastical, genius, and disturbing. She is a Selkie, she is a flying horse, she is a wild ferrel cat, she is a werewolf. Tess Cohen is the Queen of Toads, living by the laws of Merlin and living by no predictability at all. And then there is Lizzie, the younger sister, the one who is more timid, who follows, who watches her older sister feed a statue of the virgin mary coconut c [...]

    5. This was sad. Poor Lizzie. I felt so awful for her, especially when she was little. We spent a lot more time in the book with young Lizzie than 15 year-old Lizzie, and I think that's why I sympathized with her younger self more. Lizzie idolized her older sister. She wished she could be more like her - imaginative and free spirited. Tess seemed to have a magic about her that Lizzie couldn't get. As much as Lizzie worshiped Tess, Tess was often cruel to her. Tess was trapped in her fantasy world a [...]

    6. Tess and Lizzie Cohen were close, sisters who spend just about every waking minute together when they were younger. Tess was the leader, imaginative and creative, drawing and writing poems in her sketchbook. Because she believes so strongly in magic, Tess is sure she can fly through the air. She convinces Lizzie that she knows magic spells, and Lizzie follows her, somewhat blindly, until the two of them grow older. Slowly, Lizzie and her parents realize that while Tess is imaginative and unique, [...]

    7. So close to being 5 stars but then ending just left me feeling.pissed off. Lizzie spends the whole book still trying to deal with her sister's death that happened years agod it's all resolved in the last few chapters? That is such bullcrap. The therapy sessions show how damaged she is, the flashbacks display how disturbed her sister was and how she tried to drag Lizzie into her madness. 10 years of living with a crazy sister, 5 years blaming herself for her death, and she feels all better becaus [...]

    8. I really really enjoyed this book. I don't want to tell the story to anybody that has not read it and is willing to read it. I highly highly recommend you to read this book.

    9. A solid 3.5, but doesn't allow half stars.My thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC.I had conflicted feelings about Without Tess. Author Marcella Pixley skillfully reveals how Tess and Liz's innocent childhood games and play-acting can turn sinister very quickly, and the horror is very real. Tess's cruelty is almost guileless at times, making it even more terrifying. The girls' invented game of Crab Carcass Bingo is gross and macabre, but not unrealistic. While Tess's darkly vivid imagination and de [...]

    10. I picked up Without Tess on a whim, desperately searching for something on the Young Adult shelf that I hadn't read or at least sampled. I wasn't expecting much, to be honest -- the book was slimmer than I tend to prefer, and the summary sounded cliche, if moderately intriguing. Needless to say, however, this book surprised me.StoryThe main storyline deals with Lizzie Cohen, a fifteen year old still struggling with the death of her vibrant sister, Tess. Through flashback, we are offered a glimps [...]

    11. Tess and Lizzie lived a charmed childhood full of magic, wonder and impossible things becoming possible. It's a world of escapism that they share and love together but, eventually, they must grow up. Lizzie recognizes this. Tess, however, cannot live in a world without magic. Her world of magic becomes darker and more terrifying as it begins to consume her from the inside out and she loses her grip on reality. Now a teenager, Liz is learning to live without Tess, and must delve into her sister's [...]

    12. Without Tess is a haunting tale of mental illness, grief and survival. The blurring of imagination and reality in childhood is one of it's immense joys, I remember pretending I was a mermaid while swimming and hoping to find fairies in the garden. Eventually most of us lose that sense of possibility but in this novel, Tess retreats into her fantasies and is lost. Alternating between the present and the past we learn of fifteen year old Lizzie's overwhelming guilt and grief over her lost childhoo [...]

    13. I’d read a book or two in the past with a supposedly similar storyline. Younger sister looses queen bee older sister and younger sister is completely broken. Usually this means the younger sister has no self-confidence and left in a hero-worship position, unable to see her own strengths. And usually it gets a little DepressMe Street and whiny for my tastes. But I decided, hey, whatev, I’ll try this.Wow. Rarely does a book have me put my foot in my mouth this much.To say that this book was ex [...]

    14. If you're anything like me I'd recommend having a box of tissues close while reading Without Tess. Then again maybe I'm just soppy, I was crying long before I reached the really sad part, I cried at the 'toad scene' and I dont even like toads! 10 year old Lizzie adores her 11 year old sister Tess; the bond between the two is palpable, swinging wildly between idolisation, love, protectiveness and resentment as Tess' disturbing behaviour and cruelty impacts Lizzie emotionally and physically. Tess' [...]

    15. More reviews at Rondo of a Possible World: YA Book ReviewsRaw Emotion.This story hit me hard. It is a book that will have you crying by the final chapters from the bittersweet conclusion to Lizzie's absolution. For all of you that have heard good things about this book. They are true. Do not delay in reading Without Tess, the story is unforgettable.During the beginning I was confused with what was going on. But after a few chapters I figured out that you went from present day 15-year-old Lizzie [...]

    16. Without Tess is different than anything else I have ever read. Sure, I've read other books where the sister dies and everyone mourns her, but this one is unique. I guess the story being told when Lizzie was ten or eleven is what made it so different. How she really looked up to Tess and believed in her magic. Then coming back to the present, when Lizzie is fifteen and seeing how it changed her and seeing her in her therapy sessions makes it seem different yet again. I didn't really sympathize wi [...]

    17. This is a very well written book regarding the forgotten child in a family dealing with another with mental illness. Lizzie deals with much more than survivor's guilt. She has been negatively impacted by dealing with Tess' mental illness as a child. The subject matter is really best approached by a mature teenager to adult. There are disturbing themes as Tess experiences full out psychosis and lacks a conscience and believes in her alternate reality. Lizzie plays along until her maturity level d [...]

    18. I approached this book all wrong. I made fast assumptions about it, and misjudged it. I almost didn’t finish it because of my assumptions, but continued reading and finished it.You must realize before starting this book how difficult it will be to read. I had no idea how sad and monstrous reading this would be. Mental illness is no joke. Just prepare yourself: Pixley is real. There’s a no-holds-barred approach to telling Lizzie’s story. You’ve been warned.I felt sorry for Lizzie. Both as [...]

    19. As Tess descends into mental illness, she takes Lizzie along with her for a ride. Lizzie worships her older sister and will do anything she asks, even when she knows it is wrong. Without Tess starts with the aftermath of a long, traumatic situation for Lizzie and flashes back to when it all went off the rails. The author does a great job of conveying Tess and her illness, with great characterization. Lizzie's story was not as successful, as I never really felt her struggle to come to terms with [...]

    20. I started out reading this book, thinking it was like Bridge to Terabithia. A story of the wonders of a child's imagination. Partially through, I realized it was so much more. The author has weaved an incredible story of a downward spiral into hysteria, as Lizzie grows up, leaving her sister, Tess behind in the realm of magic. And Lizzie must come to accept the memories, as the reader slowly, but surely, comes to understand the past events. Although the switching between past and present was at [...]

    21. I got a copy of this at ALA when I asked what books were they pushing that I didn't know about. At Macmillan they told me I had to read this book, that they were having a bit of trouble because the booksellers were saying it was too dark, but they all loved it. So, I read it over the weekend. I agree it is dark and it is heavy subject matter, but it is a very good book and wonderfully written. I was reading it at the pool surrounded by hundreds of people and I was crying all over the place at th [...]

    22. This book was an absolute train wreck for me. What to know why? 1. Tess, the main character's sister, licks cats. I'm sorry, but what?2. Tess tells the main character, Lizzie, to lick her and she does. WHY?3. Tess shoves chocolate into a Virgin Mary statue every day. Yeah, strange.4. Tess eats blueberries and starts making horse noises and begins to gallop around.I wanted a deep and dark contemporary story about dealing with death and grief but I got this strange and messed up book. I felt like [...]

    23. Lizzie Cohen's older sister Tess died six years ago. Now fifteen Lizzie struggles to understand who her sister really was. Creative or mentally ill? Imaginative or delusional? As Lizzie begins to realize, the sister she thought she knew was someone much more disturbed than she realized and if that's true, is she also mentally ill?Marcella Pixley has crafted an engaging coming-of-age story about grief, mental illness, sisters. Narrator Lizzie is both sympathetic and easy to root for.

    24. I can't quite figure out my feelings for this bookWHY does this keep happening?! I gave it 4 stars because I'm left feeling really disturbed now that it's over so Marcella Pixley must have done something right :/

    25. A unique look at a teen girl's reaction to the loss of her sister. Very emotional. Highly recommended! 4 stars!

    26. A bit disappointing, less on the girl's life now and more solely based on flashbacksdisturbing enough to keep reading but not enough conclusion to feel satisfied

    27. This review was for my blog event Psychtember, so it's formatted a little differently than usual, to reflect the mental health theme. I've structured things as though the book is the patient and I'm giving them an assessment. Each axis is an aspect of the book that I'll give my thoughts on (characters, plot, etc.), and the validity score refers to how psychologically accurate I think the book is, with the final diagnosis being my shooting star rating. The rating still reflects my overall view of [...]

    28. If I could have given this book less than one star, I would have. Mental health is not dealt with the delicacy that such topic requires. The author fails to draw the line between imagination and psychosis since the kids in the story seem to be so engaged in the weird things they do, it almost seems hard to believe that there’s something “off” about Tess when the other children act somewhat alike when they’re around her. I don’t know who told Marcella Pixley that it was a good idea to w [...]

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