I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved everything about this book. When I First Knew tells the story of Abby from the age of seven to fourteen as she tries to stay true to who she is, against her mother's objections. Alden tells Abby's story through a series of letters written to an imaginary friend, Tweed, and captures her voice perfectly, which is what makes this book so heart-wrenching.
"I don't usually play with dolls. I like balls way more, but I'm not allowed to have my own baseball unless it is a girl's, which is as big as a grapefruit and doesn't fit in a mitt."
"... I argued that Thanksgiving was a football day.
'Not for you,' she said.
I asked, 'Why not for me?' knowing the answer, but I wanted to hear her say it.
'Because you're a girl,' she said, sounding disgusted with me..."
But honestly, what made this such a wonderful read for me was Abby's strength in the face of her mother's disapproval. I could quote this entire book, there was just so much I could empathize with. I gave this book five stars and highly recommend that you check out the sample on Amazon.