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


in a sentence or so: Marcelo is spiritually curious, loves music, has a gift with horses, and has what can asperger's syndrome. after Marcelo's dad challenges him to work a summer at his law firm to gain real world experience - if Marcelo is able to be successful at his job in the copy room, he can go to whichever high school he wants for his senior year - the public high school or his comfortable special private school. is Marcelo up for the challenge? is one summer of suffering worth enjoying his senior year?
best be described as high-functioning

okay, before i can even jump into the review, i need to say that i heard wonderful things about this book. i had really high expectations, and so when it was available almost immediately at my library, i was pretty surprised. also - how friggin' cool is this cover? gorgeous.

okay, on to the review. Marcelo isn't dumb, though most people probably mistake him for being slow or dim-witted. in social situations that require him to absorb a lot of information at once, require a quick verbal response, or working without a set schedule, Marcelo struggles. needless to say, working in the copy room with Jasmine at the law firm, meets every one of his anxieties. Marcelo has to do more than just survive the summer in order to get his share of the bargain, he has to succeed. without being sure what his success is measured by, Marcelo is challenged to learn, adapt, and grow. especially once he discovers a haunting photo related to a particular case being handled by the firm which is not in line with who he believes his father to be.

more than just an overcoming-the-odds story, this book has so many layers its hard to describe and do it justice. its all set from the viewpoint of a different lens than most readers are familiar with. Marcelo is the narrator, and so we read what he thinks, read what he experiences and walk with him as he processes and grows. we also learn about his look on life and infatuation with spirituality and how it affects who he is and the world around him. there are three major parts happening together - Marcelo in the law firm, Marcelo and Jasmine's relationship (and Wendell, the creepy son of another lawyer in the firm), and a big legal case that Marcelo is inexplicably drawn to.

this is a journey of self discovery, discovery of human nature, and grappling with that overwhelming and life-long struggle of what "doing the right thing" means.

this is one of those books that i will constantly encourage anyone and everyone to read! it was downright amazing. my review does not do justice to the immense adoration and love i have for this creative, thoughtful, inspiring, challenging, and incredibly well-written book.

fave quote: "But today - today I will just be." (230)

fix er up: i had a hard time figuring out how some of the smaller plot points tied together into the larger framework. but it didn't distract from the rest of the story.

title: Marcelo in the Real World
author: Francisco X. Stork
genre: Coming of Age, Lisa's Faves

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

3 comments:

  1. i imagine his unique perspective catches an abuse of justice going on? probably involving his father?

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  2. well, i did allude to the abuse of justice and his father - but i don't think it's Marcelo's unique perspective that catches it. it's how he proceeds from the realization when it hits him. also, there are other unique-perspective-situations not involving his dad or the law firm.

    i imagine this is one you'd really like.

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  3. maybe i'll have to check it out once i'm done burrowing through the stack on my end table. that cover is the coolest though.

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