Thursday, September 27, 2018

Speechless by Adam P. Schmitt

A Story That Might Cause You To Think Differently

Equally Good For Older Readers

#NetGalley  #Speechless  Available November 6, 2018

Thirteen-year-old Jimmy is headed to a wake, something he's not familiar or comfortable with. But it's not just his thirteen-year-old cousin's wake that's making him uncomfortable, Jimmy is squeezed into last year's dress pants! It seems everything is closing in on his comfort zone.

While there, his mom delivers some unsettling news: his aunt has requested that he say a few words about Patrick, his cousin, at the funeral the next day. What! He's doesn't feel good about being at the wake or funeral, and now he's sick over having to give a "speech."

Jimmy has lots of time to reflect on his cousin at the wake. But almost every memory brings back extremely bad thoughts regarding Patrick since his cousin managed to ruin almost every family event. While Jimmy is walking around thinking about the speech, he meets many somewhat exaggerated people that most of us can relate to at a funeral. Is it funny at times? Definitely. Is it sad? Absolutely.  It is with rising panic that Jimmy continues to try to recall something positive about Patrick to share at the funeral, but can he?

It's not until Jimmy's standing at the microphone the next day that he (and the reader) have any idea what he will talk about.

My Thoughts

What Concerned Me: Wow. The whole time I was reading this book I was trying to figure out what to write in a review. If your child will be bothered by these topics: death, wakes, or funerals, then I would probably not recommend this book. But if that's a go, then what can be gained from the story outweighs my concerns.

What I Liked Most: This story looks at grief through many windows. There are family concerns, difficult people, people with quirks, funny people, grumpy people, people who make mistakes, and more. It's a story that at times you may wonder where it's taking you, but you keep reading. 

The topic of an unlikable person who has died, and a cousin racking his brain for positive thoughts to share, is definitely unique. But the story brings about an awareness that wouldn't be as meaningful any other way. It's a book that's hard to put down and then hard to stop thinking about.

I've struggled to rate this book; I think you'll love it, or the topic won't appeal to you.

Author: Adam P. Schmitt
Publisher: Candlewick (November 6, 2018)

Hardcover: 304 pages
Also Available For Kindle
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