Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review: Marcelo in the Real World

I've heard great things about this book for over a year and finally sat down to read it. I've read a few YA books that truly inspire me, and this was one of them. Stork's characters are extremely well-written and devloped so acutely you feel as if you know them personally and can anticipate their next move. But most importantly, I think, Francisco Stork worked with Autistic persons before writing this book--and it shows. His unique and heartwarming (and breaking, at times), story of Marcelo trying to "make it" in his father's corporate day to day world...is.... simply a delight to read. He really knows how to write an Autistic character in a way that doesn't make the illness a charicature--which many books do when they attempt such an endeavor.
Marcelo is smart, moving, funny, and really, really intelligent. Most importantly, he's compassionate and that trait absolutely shines throughout this book and rings in your ears days later shouting "Hope! Promise! Forgiveness!"
The basic premise is simple. Marcelo's father gets him a job working at his law firm in order to introduce him to the "real world." Whatever that is....eh? Marcelo becomes good friends with Jasmine in the mail room and discovers what it's like to have a friend and to possibly have romantic feelings for someone. In the meantime, he contends with the bureaucratic bullies in the law firm's office and with a tough decision that could cost the law firm and his father everything. The story moves along swiftly and becomes more complex without losing the reader's interest or the genuine spirit of its cast of characters.
A beautiful story regarding change, compassion, loyalty, and bonds between people (both positive and negative). I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone. Teen and adult alike. What an inspiring story (to me, anyway).

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