This book is about a boy named Winston. Andrew Winston. As the book's description tells, he is torn between that which he is and that which he was. The book switches every other chapter to each life and gives you glimpses into this character's motivations. Winston is at a boarding school, sent away from home for reasons unknown to the reader until the end. Win is very unstable and is quite an unnerving character but even still one I grew to love over the course of each chapter. The book takes you through very difficult times in Win's life without quite letting you know what those are when you read about them. It kept me enthralled the whole way and the ending, whether you guessed the details or not, gives you a hopeful closure. Charm & Strange, though going throughout a boy's whole life in glimpses, is set in one horrifying and revealing night. It changes the course of both Win's life and the lives around him.
I was enthralled with this book and sometimes just simple phrases that were just in the right spot. The author uses suspense to their incredible advantage. To me Charm & Strange spoke about healing. But the coolest thing for me was what it showed through the characters: that it's okay to be broken when you're hurt. And you don't have to be totally healed to move on with your life. The character was in a sense going crazy, but the author didn't critisize that or make it seem wrong...even before you knew the cause. It makes me think that she felt very deeply about the subject and her characters. That is very cool. I loved how the characters were developed and how I could change my opinion about someone so suddenly. The book was a little journey.
There were things about it that bothered me of course :). Namely some language used. Because of this and a few ways some things were described it did rub me the wrong way. It didn't make me dislike the book, but it didn't make me love certain aspects of it. I think it's just a case of taking the good out of it and the story and the wonderful characters and trying to leave the rest. Characters after all can't be perfect. :)