Review: Being Fishkill by Ruth Lehrer

Review: Being Fishkill by Ruth Lehrer

Being Fishkill by Ruth Lehrer was just released on November 14th, and I am honored to have received an ARC from Ruth. Check out all the book details below and my spoiler-free review. This is one of those books that deals with difficult subject matter but in the end you feel like a better person for experiencing it. Hope you check it out.


Being Fishkill by Ruth Lehrer

Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Purchase: Amazon

Fishkill Carmel fends for herself, with her fists if need be — until a thwarted lunch theft introduces her to strange, sunny Duck-Duck and a chance for a new start.

Born in the backseat of a moving car, Carmel Fishkill was unceremoniously pushed into a world that refuses to offer her security, stability, love. At age thirteen, she begins to fight back. Carmel Fishkill becomes Fishkill Carmel, who deflects her tormenters with a strong left hook and conceals her secrets from teachers and social workers. But Fishkill’s fierce defenses falter when she meets eccentric optimist Duck-Duck Farina, and soon they, along with Duck-Duck’s mother, Molly, form a tentative family, even as Fishkill struggles to understand her place in it. This fragile new beginning is threatened by the reappearance of Fishkill’s unstable mother — and by unfathomable tragedy. Poet Ruth Lehrer’s young adult debut is a stunning, revelatory look at what defines and sustains “family.” And, just as it does for Fishkill, meeting Duck-Duck Farina and her mother will leave readers forever changed.



Rating: ★★★★★ 

Being Fishkill is a really poignant read.  Honestly, my brain hurt from all the feels. It is just one of those books that hurts, but heals you as well. This is an emotionally driven look at poverty, abuse, neglect, and what it takes to survive. This book is not an easy read, but I think it is an important one, that many should pick up.

Fishkill Carmel has to reinvent herself. Now that she is 13 and starting a new year of school, she is tired of being bullied. Fishkill decides to take no shit from anyone. She steals food from other peoples plates and eventually only one person tries to stop her. That person changes her life forever. Duck-Duck Farina is new to school and is not letting anyone steal her lunch, but she might just share it.

The friendship that develops between Fishkill & Duck-Duck is absolutely beautiful. They almost feel too real, too normal, too broken. Their growth and their ties to each other were absolutely impassioned. At times it was hard to imagine that Duck-Duck and Fishkill weren’t real. These characters will stay with you for a long time, and you will move on, but their experiences will forever change your outlook in life.

This book is written in a way that is effortless to read. Yet if you are like me, you will have to put it down once or twice because the feels are too overwhelming. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cringe, it will make you curse this fucking awful world, and it will most certainly make you cry…but in the end it will make you read every page and cherish the depth and reality that is contained within.

I started writing this review when I finished the book, it’s has been two weeks and I still don’t feel my review speaks any additional insight than just reading the book. Build yourself up for some serious heartbreak and read Being Fishkill, it is deeply memorable and I hope you forgive me afterwards for recommending it.


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