Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Listen by Nancy Coffelt

Ever since 18-year-old Will's mother died he has been distant from the world, talking to himself and writing on his blog. Fourteen-year-old Kurt is just as distant, after his mother's boyfriend's death and her departure to rehab. While Will finds comfort in running with his new friend Claire, Kurt becomes entangled with Carrie and her animals. Although she seems normal enough, Carrie is a middle age schizophrenic who brings home wandering animals and gives them a home. Although she seems to be kind to the animals, Carrie crosses her boundaries when she brings home a neglected baby. Kurt knows that what she has done is wrong, but when he tries to fix the situation, things quickly spiral out of control. With the help of Will, Kurt tries to bring down Carrie. But can he do it in time, or is it too late for the baby?

Although I was skeptical and confused when I began reading the book, the story quickly started to pick up and by the end I was unable to put it down. At the beginning, you are dropped into their world without context which made it confusing. The characters vaguely referred to their traumatic past so you got tidbits of information but there was never any clear picture. Although this was frustrating at first, it made their situations seem more real and it felt like they were telling you the story, rather than some unknown narrator.

Once you get used to the writing style, it's hard to put the book down. Author Nancy Coffelt understands the struggles that teenagers go through and powerfully puts them into words. I was annoyed with some of the character's actions at first, but by the end of the book I was sympathizing with them because I've felt the same way at some point in my life. I highly recommend this book to people looking for a serious, thought-provoking, yet relatable book

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Champaign, IL USA