Speechless by Adam P. Schmitt

Book Review #545

Title: Speechless

Author: Adam P. Schmitt

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Genre: Middle Grade

Format: Paperback

Source: Pansing

Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Pages: 304

How do you give a eulogy when you can’t think of one good thing to say? A poignant, funny, and candid look at grief, family secrets, difficult people, and learning to look behind the facade.

As if being stuffed into last year’s dress pants at his cousin’s wake weren’t uncomfortable enough, thirteen-year-old Jimmy has just learned from his mother that he has to say a few words at the funeral the next day. Why him? What could he possibly say about his cousin, who ruined everything they did? He can’t recall one birthday party, family gathering, or school event with Patrick that didn’t result in injury or destruction. As Jimmy attempts to navigate the odd social norms of the wake, he draws on humor, heartfelt concern, and a good deal of angst while racking his brain and his memory for a decent and meaningful memory to share. But it’s not until faced with a microphone that the realization finally hits him: it’s not the words that are spoken that matter the most, but those that are truly heard.

Speechless by Adam P. Schmitt is a story about a boy’s journey through grief, feeling lost after a family member passed away. Patrick has been given the task to perform an eulogy for his cousin he didn’t like and runs over the course of two days going from the present to the past. This book is raw, honest and heartfelt.

I find that the author has really captured the voice of a thirteen year old boy and for that, I’ll have to applaud. This book really took me by surprise as it touches on serious issues like having complicated familial relationships and mental illness. Yet, I find it is very well written and the narrative would make readers want to continue reading until the very end which doesn’t really have a hopeful ending. That’s all I’m saying.

There’s so many readers out there who really ended up enjoying this book and I can see why. This book gives a whole new perspective of what it feels to go through an impactful and life changing situation. You could consider reading this book that has so much depth and full of emotion, seeing it unfold yourself.

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