Monday, June 10, 2013
Life Happens Next
Life Happens Next by Terry Trueman
Stuck in Neutral, a Printz Honor Book, introduced the world to Shawn McDaniel, a fourteen-year-old kid with cerebral palsy. But what happens next?
Shawn's got a new perspective on life. But no one has a clue. That's because they can see only his wheelchair, his limp body, his drool. What they don't see? His brain, with perfect auditory memory. And his heart, which is in love with a girl. And his fierce belief that someday someone will realize there's way more to him than his appearance.
How do you connect with others when you can't talk, walk, or even wave hello? In the sequel to Stuck in Neutral, which ALA Booklist called "an intense reading experience," Shawn McDaniel discovers a new definition of "normal" and finds that life happens next for everyone.
This was a very moving book. Shawn has cerebral palsy, and cannot speak or move any of his body parts on command. Due to this, everyone thinks he is a "vegetable" as Shawn put it. However, he is actually very smart. No one knows that though, because he is not able to communicate.
This book was written from Shawn's perspective. It was really cool to see his thoughts about life and about his situation. It made you think twice about lots of things, and learn not to take your life for granted. That really struck something in me.
There were a few other characters in this book, and we got to see them all through Shawn's eyes. Sometimes he really loved them, and other times he was annoyed with him. It was cool to see everything from Shawn's view. He still has emotions and thoughts like everyone else. There was one character named Debi who has down syndrome. Shawn is very annoyed by her at first, but comes to form a unique friendship with her. She has an awesome ability to understand Shawn by observing him closely. She is the first person who truly understands that he is smart, and that he actually has thoughts.
Shawn ends up seeing a person in his dreams, and doesn't know why. Even after we find out who the person is, I didn't quite understand it. I felt like there was no point in the book. While it was beautifully written, I felt like there could have been so much more. I would have liked to see the author elaborate on the story, and develop a more in depth plot. I think great things could be down with this topic.
I received this book for free from arcycling in return for an honest review.