Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review by Alex- Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo in the Real World by Fransisco X. Stork

Marcelo Sandoval hears music that nobody else can hear–part of an autism-like condition that no doctor has been able to identify. But his father has never fully believed in the music or Marcelo’s differences, and he challenges Marcelo to work in the mailroom of his law firm for the summer. . . to join “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.

I have to say, I love Marcelo in the Real World soo much. It was so incredibly adorable and sweet to read. Marcelo is an amazing protagonist and character. I mean, yeah he's different since he has... a mental condition. I'm not too sure which term to use for him, since he himself, meaning Marcelo, is unsure how to explain it. But anyway, Marcelo thinks differently, he hears internal music, he doesn't have much of a sense of direction, he interacts differently than others, but really, compared to me or most readers, he's pretty much the same. But he is different- but different in all the best ways.

Some of Marcelo's naivity is so cute. At times I wanted to just give him a hug or pat him on the head. XD Just... gah. I cannot explain Marcelo's amazingness and his appeal to me. Being inside his mind is so interesting.

Throughout the novel, Marcelo is struggling about his future. He hopes to go to Patterson, a school meant for kids with disabilites, the school he has attended since first grade. Marcelo's 17 by the way, entering senior year after the summer. His father, Arturo, a succesful law firm co-owner, wants him to attend a public school however. Marcelo and his father make a deal: If Marcelo has a summer job at the law firm, and succeeds working in the "real world", he can decide on what school he goes to. If not, it's public school for him.

I had the book for a couple weeks before I actually started to read it. Partly because, I had a ton of other stuff to go through, also because well, the cover didn't interest me. It reminded me too much of two movie covers- Howl's Moving Castle and Monster House. I'm not too sure why I reacted that way, since I actually did like those two movies, and looking at the cover now, I actually do like it. So it's funny, and I don't really understand why I was initially turned off.

All the characters are great. I've talked about Marcelo, and obviously I love him. But Jasmine, his boss at the firm, Ixtel, the girl in the picture, Yolanda, who I seriously love for building the tree house for Marcelo (I mean, okay, how cool is that? She got her whole class to make Marcelo a fully functioning tree house with electricity and everything. I want a sister like Yolanda!), even if she didn't appear to much. Marcelo's parents, Arturo and Aurora, Wendall, the rabbi Marcelo visits to talk about religion... all were so interesting and different.

Speaking of religion. Usually, I tend to not like books that focus on religion, because I find they can get preachy and stuff. But Marcelo almost lives and breathes religion. It is, as he calls it, his special interest, the one thing he focuses most on. He doesn't just preach, but he reads all he can on religion, he talks and discusses about it, and thinks about religion. And... I think it's great. Although at this point, I'm pretty sure I'd love anything Marcelo does. XD

And since I feel like, a random quote that made me go "Aaaaw!"

" "It's half a kiss," she says, "but it's all I've got." "

This novel isn't so much like, romanceromancekisskisssex, sort of thing. It's more subtle feelings, and more of coming of age than anything. But I loved that quote and thought it was so sweet. You'll have to read the book though to figure out who says it! :D

Overall, such a great book; so, so, interesting.

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