Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Review: So Much to Tell You

I listened to John Marsden's young adult book, So Much to Tell You, in audio format. It was an emotionally stirring experience, but one which will be hard to explain because I don't want to give away too much about the book. Indeed, the cover blurb was very basic in its description:

"She watches; she dreams. She sees more than they realize. She has worries and fears, hopes and desires. She is troubled; she is angry. Above all, she is lonely. She may be someone you know. She may be you. In So Much to Tell You she tells her story. With humor and insight, with sensitivity and strength, with painful honesty. You will never forget her."

Not much to go on, but I assure you this book is worth the read (or listen). The main character, a fourteen-year-old elective mute, has recently faced a horrifying, overwhelming challenge in life and is living in a boarding school where others hope that she will break her silence. Told in journal format, the story unfolds gradually (perhaps a bit too slow at times) until the reader comes to understand the impetus for her silence and the hopes for her healing. Every teen can probably relate to the sense of isolation and loneliness Marina and other girls at the boarding school experience in this haunting tale. Everyone carries baggage in life, but everyone can also find hope and inspiration to go on facing life's challenges.

The journal/epistolary format will not appeal to everyone, but I personally like that style of narrative. Thus, I will probably seek out another John Marsden book called Letters from the Inside. He also has a few series books (like the Tomorrow When the War Began series - one I had heard about in my young adult book club). Given the positive experience with this book, I'd give this author another go.

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