Dredging up the past can knock the present right off balance.
The world expects perfection from seventeen-year-old Shawna Gallagher, and for the most part, that’s what they get. She dates the right boys, gets good grades, and follows her father’s every rule. But when her estranged lesbian mother dies, it’s more than perfect Shawna can take. Suddenly, anger from being abandoned ten years ago is resurfacing along with Shawna’s embarrassment over her mother’s other family. As she confronts family secrets and questions from the past, Shawna realizes there’s a difference between doing the perfect thing and doing the right thing. Shawna’s honest and relatable voice will draw readers in and hold them until the last page in this coming-of-age story. Jeannine Garsee has delivered a compulsively readable second novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson.
Wow, there is sure a lot packed into this book, it was emotional, powerful, and definitely original. And I think for the most part it works really well! Shawna's journey spans everything from what it means to be family, sexuality, friendship, and love, it goes everywhere. I was compulsively turning the pages of Say the Word, I had to know where it was going and had to know that everyone was going to come out of this situation ok. It was definitely stressful at times to read, especially any scene that involved Shawna's father. A few of the plot twists I could see from miles away but there were others that I was clueless as to where they would go and also a few that were so small I could have done without them. I really admire how much the author takes on in just one book!
I really liked the use of Perfect Shawna, Pathetic Shawna, and Evil Shawna, they all took turns coming out to play. I felt like by the end of the story Shawna was just Shawna, she found a common ground for all the versions of herself. I will admit, the ending had me a little teary eyed, it made me sad but it was an ok sad I think! All in all a powerful book that explores tons of issues a teen can face (and maybe some they won't) in a way that blends them together into a beautiful story.
Say the Word was released on March 17th.
Can't remember where I got this book