Book Review: My Name is Thank-You by Kaizen Love

Every so often we come across a story that not only captures our attention, but beckons us to fall deeply in love with the characters whose lives are now being intertwined with ours through the enchanting power of words. This is such a story. My Name Is Thank-You follows the lives of two young girls, Thank-You and Josephine. We follow how their lives change over the course of four seasons. Their voices creating around us, a world filled with love, gratitude, bravery, self discovery, and forgiveness as well as shining a light on loneliness, fear, ignorance, and hatred.

Thank-You is an uneducated, bi-racial orphan who views the world beyond what her young eyes can see. She is filled with hope, love, understanding, and an overwhelming desire to find a place where she belongs. She travels through this story with the voice of an angel, imparting her wisdom, sending ripples through the core of the human spirit. With the help of her social worker, Miss Felix, Thank-You goes on a journey and what she discovers is more than she would ever imagine.

Josephine Dieu is a young, wealthy socialite, who comes from a prominent African American family. Her voice is heavy with sadness, carrying the burden of a disinterested father and an alcoholic mother. Her life is lonely, having no friends or siblings. Yet, underneath all of her sadness peaks the innocence of childhood, which yearns for a loving home. As the story unfolds, we follow as Josephine’s life unravels as we witness her encounter ignorance, hatred, shame, and abuse. Josephine’s story saddens us with its overwhelming truth and empowers us with hope as she overcomes every obstacle to get her voice heard.

Deeply meaningful, rich, and quirky, the stories of Thank-You and Josephine unfold in such a way that will leave you breathless and yearning for more words. It will also leave you with not just another novel in your collection, but another beautiful story engraved into the memory of your heart.
Release Date: July 13, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli
My Name is Thank-You was such a unique, heart-warming story.  I can honestly say that this book was life-changing in its message, delivery, and impact. 
The story follows two 13-year old girls: Josephine, a wealthy child who doesn't have the love of her parents, and Thank-You, an orphan who is happy despite her circumstances.  Thank-You looks for the good in everything and everyone.  She is eternally grateful and cheerful.  She was truly an inspiration to me!  Josephine has never felt loved or wanted.  Her parents wanted a boy, not a girl, and her mother was never able to have another baby. So, for her whole life she's felt unwanted and unloved, and is mostly ignored by her parents.
Each chapter alternates between Josephine and Thank-You, with each girl narrating their own stories.  The entire book, I thought that the two girls' stories were happening simultaneously.  The ending proved me slightly wrong, and I applaud Kaizen Love for ending the novel the way she did.  I was left thinking about the two girls for weeks after I finished My Name is Thank-You.  I couldn't decide exactly how to describe the ending, torn between magical realism and a faith-based spiritual event.  I still haven't been able to decide what to call the heart-warming ending, except that it was moving and unforgettable.
Kaizen Love's story has stayed with me, imparting upon me the importance of gratitude, peace and acceptance of your circumstances, no matter what they may be.  I think that My Name is Thank-You is a wonderful book, especially for mothers.  As a mother, I was particularly affected by the relationships and love in Josephine and Thank-You's lives.  I loved My Name is Thank-You and highly recommend this inspirational, moving story!


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