Pull Me Under

Pull Me Under A searing debut novel from one of the most imaginative minds in fictionKelly Luce s Pull Me Under tells the story of Rio Silvestri who when she was twelve years old fatally stabbed a school bully R

  • Title: Pull Me Under
  • Author: Kelly Luce
  • ISBN: 9780374238582
  • Page: 469
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A searing debut novel from one of the most imaginative minds in fictionKelly Luce s Pull Me Under tells the story of Rio Silvestri, who, when she was twelve years old, fatally stabbed a school bully Rio, born Chizuru Akitani, is the Japanese American daughter of the revered violinist Hiro Akitani a Living National Treasure in Japan and a man Rio hasn t spoken to since shA searing debut novel from one of the most imaginative minds in fictionKelly Luce s Pull Me Under tells the story of Rio Silvestri, who, when she was twelve years old, fatally stabbed a school bully Rio, born Chizuru Akitani, is the Japanese American daughter of the revered violinist Hiro Akitani a Living National Treasure in Japan and a man Rio hasn t spoken to since she left her home country for the United States and a new identity after her violent crime Her father s death, along with a mysterious package that arrives on her doorstep in Boulder, Colorado, spurs her to return to Japan for the first time in twenty years There she is forced to confront her past in ways she never imagined, pushing herself, her relationships with her husband and daughter, and her own sense of who she is to the brink.The novel s illuminating and palpably atmospheric descriptions of Japan and its culture, as well its elegantly dynamic structure, call to mind both Ruth Ozeki s A Tale for the Time Being and David Guterson s Snow Falling on Cedars Pull Me Under is gripping, psychologically complex fiction at the heart of which is an affecting exploration of home, self acceptance, and the limits of forgiveness.

    One thought on “Pull Me Under”

    1. 3.5 The opening page is shocking, immediately drew me into the story. Wanted to see what happened, and why. So we follow the story of a young girl, Chizuri, father Japanese, considered a national treasure and mother Irish, who had just recently committed suicide. A young woman who never felt as if she fit in, was teased, bullied until she reacts in a horrifying manner. A life changing manner and she loses everything. Eventually she will resettle in the US, make a new life for herself, but can se [...]

    2. Rio Silvestri is a wife, mother and nurse. She lives in America and has what she thinks, and more importantly others think, is a typical life. However when her father dies Rio must return to Japan and the country where she was infamous as Chizuru, a girl who murdered another student. Great premise and really interesting read. Lots of themes about identity and what we tell ourselves vs other people. A gripping dark literary novel of unravelling and rebuilding ourselves.

    3. This is a worthwhile and thought-provoking read but it is not an overly moving one. After much consideration I’m giving Pull Me Under three stars and still having trouble writing anything that doesn’t turn into a plot summary, which is not what I want to convey. I can appreciate the clever structuring of this book. We first meet a grieving and lonely twelve year old Chizuru Akitani living in Japan. Next we meet Rio Silvestri, a thirty-eight year old nurse, mother, wife, living in Boulder, CO [...]

    4. 3.5I'm having trouble forming words to describe my reading experience of this book.Chizuru Akitani is bullied as a child and takes matters into her own hands by stabbing him. She goes to a juvenile detention center and then eventually leaves for Colorado where she re-starts her life. In Japan, her family is broken, detached and disconnected. Her father is a "Living National Treasure" of a musician and her mother is out of the picture. I immediately connected to the writing- it was gorgeous and c [...]

    5. In the opening scene of Pull Me Under, Chizuru Akitani stabs a classmate in the neck and kills him. She is institutionalized for 8 years and on release she moves to America (her mother's homeland) to attend college and forge a new life. She changes her name to "Rio" and eventually marries Sal Sylvestri. They have an 11 year old daughter, Lily.The novel then slowly reveals the background of Rio's life. Her father is Hiro Akitani, a violinist designated as a Japanese "Living National Treasure." We [...]

    6. [Actually 3.5]If you've been to Japan, you will enjoy reading this book. If you want to feel like you've been to Japan, you will also enjoy reading this book. At the beginning, you're immediately drawn in. Half Japanese, half American girl Chizuru kills her school bully - SO JAPANESE. We see her at that time and we see her later as a pretty well-rounded, stable adult. But when she learns that her father who abandoned her has died, she decides to go to Japan by herself. And that's when all sorts [...]

    7. CAN ONE MOMENT OF RAGE ALTER AN ENTIRE LIFE?BY JUDGE LIBERTY HARDYWhat no one knows about Rio Silvestri, a thirty-something woman living a picture perfect life in Colorado with her husband and daughter, is that when she was 12 years old and living in Japan, she stabbed the school bully in the neck with a letter opener. Gasp!Rio would be content to keep her secret hidden for the rest of her life, but when a mysterious letter arrives at her doorstep informing her of the death of her father, Rio re [...]

    8. Ahhh I want to give this 5 stars so bad, but I just can't. I just don't feel like the main character went through the appropriate amount of character development to satisfy me. BUT - that's my only complaint. The plot was engaging and a tad disturbing, the rest of the characters are lively and unique, and although the book is on the shorter side I haven't been so immersed in a foreign setting in a very long time - I felt like I really was in Japan, experiencing the culture. I would heartily reco [...]

    9. Mostly I thought this book was beautifully written while also being a page-turner, which is usually a difficult balance. I have no doubt that Kelly Luce is an amazing writer. I particularly loved the plot structure and her handling of themes pertaining to identity.I have a few issues with it, though. I hated the ending. I get that not every book will have a satisfying ending that perfectly completes an arc, but to me it was a little more touchy-feely than I thought it should have been. This ties [...]

    10. 4.25/5 stars I really enjoyed this! Tbh I can't understand the negative reviews on this at all, but to each their own I suppose!This book totally hooked me from page one. In the very beginning we find out that Rio - or, Chizuru - had murdered one of her classmates (very specifically with a Morimoto letter opener) only a few months after the death of her mother and she has been sent to a juvenile detention facility at the age of twelve. By the time she's twenty years old, she's had hardly any vis [...]

    11. “What if there was a fork in the road a long time ago, and I took the wrong path?” asks Rio Silvestri, the narrator of Kelly Luce’s debut novel, Pull Me Under. Rio’s question is a fundamentally human one: would my present be better if not for my past? In Luce’s hands, the answer is a nuanced dance across many decades and between two countries. Rio must reconcile her fraught childhood in Japan as Chizuru Akitani—an infamous juvenile delinquent—with her painstakingly constructed life [...]

    12. I loved this book. It's the kind of book that you can't--or don't want to--put down; the story doesn't lull at any point. I love learning about other cultures, so I loved that this book offers you a glimpse into Japanese culture. The protagonist is a character you will root for, feel heartbroken for, and want to reach through the book to hug. #allthefeels

    13. This was such a pleasant surprise. I knew very little of the story beforehand, but I devoured this book in two short days (which is quick for me). The plot focuses on facing your demons from your past, but it's the smooth, pleasing writing that made this such an enjoyable read for me.

    14. There are several inconsistencies in this book that don't hold to true, IRL facts, and a few things that I think editing should've caught. It also was NOT AT ALL the type of book that I thought it would be. Based on the (very limited) amount I read from the blurb/some reviews, I thought this would be more of a mystery/thriller-type book. But it isn't. Because I went in mostly blind, however, I had no real expectations of this book, and as such, I think I enjoyed it more than many of my friends s [...]

    15. I'll admit one of the most appealing elements of this book was the Japan setting, and I loved the snippets of Japanese culture described throughout. The details of the temple pilgrimage were fascinating and led me to seek more details about the trail outside of the book. But travel inspiration aside, I did really enjoy this read. I loved how the story started off by recalling the narrators time spent in the detention centre; doing so really grabbed my interest and I was invested in the story bef [...]

    16. More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.Pull Me Under was my Book of the Month selection for December. I wasn't really thrilled with any of the selections, but I wanted to get two other books, and you can't skip the month and still do that, so I went with Pull Me Under. The story here is about Rio, originally Chizuru, who is half American and half Japanese, and spent the first half of her life there--though eight years of that time was spent in a juvenile detention facility af [...]

    17. SynopsisThis is the story of a young woman who holds a terrible childhood secret. This secret comes to haunt her in her adult life, and on a new continent. You follow Rio, as she goes home to her hometown in Japan, and uncovers secrets, and tries to come to terms with her past.Thoughts // ReviewI didn’t want to give much more of a synopsis than I did, because I have heard a lot of complaints about this book centered around people’s expectations. This book is definitely not your typical thril [...]

    18. The character development in Pull Me Under is on point, and the storyline creates intrigue and enticement. I was pulled in to the story from the very first page. After about three or four chapters, I was nearly positive I'd be giving this novel 5 stars. A young girl kills a classmate, and as a woman she must confront the demons she's hid away for so long. We get the psychological factor. We get a little bit of suspense, and we get a ton of interaction between characters that allows us as readers [...]

    19. This is such a beautifully written, mesmerizing story. The opening page had me hooked immediately, and I expected a much different story arc. I was surprised to find such a stunning personal exploration by our narrator, Chizuru Akitani. Now 35, Chizuru takes us on her journey forth from age 12, forth from the one event she felt she would never escape.

    20. Really strong beginning, but I found the plot to kind of fall apart in the latter half. Also, while I appreciated the use of Japanese language and culture, and there were many things that demonstrated a rich knowledge of both, some of the inaccuracies about Boulder, Colorado were a bit irksome. For instance, there is a line that states that almost no Japanese people are on CU's campus (my alma mater, where I majored in Japanese, by the way), which is emphatically not true. CU Boulder has a renow [...]

    21. This is an interesting read. We know from the beginning of the murder and the murderer. The mystery is the unveiling of events leading up to the murder and the consequences of that action. There are many complicated relationships which all are somehow related. The main character is half Japanese and half. This causes great difficulty throughout her life. The differences between the two cultures is a theme throughout the novel.

    22. Easy read that I finished in a day. It was interesting to read about the Japanese culture and I really enjoyed all of the characters; flaws and all.

    23. I found Pull Me Under by Kelly Luce to be a mesmerizing tale for our times. It is a story that addresses biracialism and all that goes with being "other" in both America and Japan. Additionally, it is a story that confronts identity, personal secrets, and one's ability to change oneself. A few reviewers seemed to have a hard time connecting with the characters but I found the characters to be both complex and interesting. I found Chizuru/Rio to be believable and real. I could feel her rage at be [...]

    24. Pull Me Under tells the story of a woman coming to terms with her past. When she was twelve, she killed a classmate. Afterwards she becomes estranged from her father, moves to America, and starts a brand new life. But when her father dies, she returns to Japan and confronts her past. First person narratives are always tricky, but Luce does an excellent job in creating a flawed character that can still evoke sympathy. I found myself caught up in the story of Rio's past. In the novel the idea of w [...]

    25. This book did stick with me and I thought it was well written. However, I unfortunately couldn't get over the fact it was marketed to me as a thriller (through no fault of the author), when that isn't what this is. I would love to read more books by the same author. Also, having traveled to Japan, I love the descriptions of it.

    26. I loved the idea but felt the presentation could be better at times.Also, this is the second book I've read in the recent past about Japan, and both have included intense school bullying. Is bullying a huge issue in Japan's schools? Going to have to do some research on this.

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