Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Review: Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo In The Real World by Francisco X. Stork
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication date: March 2009
Pages: 320
Source: I think I won it in a contest several years ago...
For: Fun

Summary (from goodreads):
Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm.

He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file -- a picture of a girl with half a face -- that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.
Things I Liked:
I really fell in love with this one from the start.  I find books told from the perspectives of those with Aspergers or similar (Marcelo doesn't identify with that entirely) are very fascinating.  I think this one was exceptional.  It was interesting to see Marcelo do things he didn't want to and to grow in ways he didn't expect.  I loved the dilemmas he faced and often the fact that he would hear something someone said, recogize he didn't quite understand, but get the gist of it anyway.  Kind of like visiting a foreign country where you sort of speak the language.  I loved Marcelo and Jasmine!

Things I Didn't Like:
I got really tired of Wendell and pretty much every other male that had to throw in something about sex every other word.  There was a lot of swearing too, which turned me off, especially when we met Jasmine's dad.  I could definitely have done without that. 

Reminded me of Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (but with waaaaay more swearing)

s-factor: !@#
plenty, a number of f-bombs

mrg-factor: XXX
nothing on page, just a LOT of crude talk

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. This one sounds unique and interesting. I hadn't heard about it but now I'll have to keep my eyes out for it. Too bad about all the swearing though. I don't get too bothered by it but it's mostly always unnecessary.

    1. Yep! I think this one got quite a bit of good buzz when it came out, but it was several years ago now.


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