Thursday, March 6, 2008

Book Review: The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous

"The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous" has so many notable lines!

What this book is about: A 13 year old girl with Aspergers Syndrome who thrives on keeping a strict schedule. However some changes come into her life that make "order" a difficult thing to maintain.

What I like about this book:

1) Though there is a very strong "reality" of how cruel people can be, especially when someone is "different", the humorous style of writing, as well as the title give me a strong sense that something good is going to happen. There is a "hopeful" quality about the writing style.

2) A very strong voice and distinct characters.
This book does a great job of keeping descriptions true to the main characters voice. I think this is what I like most about it. Here are some examples that I've fallen in love with so far:

"Veraleen had one of Grandma Birdys white eyelet aprons on and it looked like a postage stamp suck over her tummy. She wore a white chefs cap that had flopped over from exhaustion. And those big ole nurses shoes, she was wearing those too. At that exact moment I saw Grandma Birdy peeking in through the screen door, her face all pinched up and her nose twitching, taking in the good smells. Then, like a silent specter, she was gone."

And this next one I think is hysterical, because I know people who do this and it bugs the tar out of me! I love how Suzanne Crowley captures it. FYI: "Jumbo" is the name of the town where the main Character lives:

"Jack," my father repeated. "So you've moved into the Porter house.
"That I have," he replied with his Irish lilt that even I had to admit had a nice sonorous ring to it.
There was a long silence. I wondered lots of things about the Poet, and I'm sure everyone else did too. But in Jumbo you don't ask direct questions. You wait till later when you can speculate with others and build your own embellished truth."

And I'll just do one more.

This last one I find very sweet and very true description of how wonderful it is to have someone, especially a father, take interest in your feelings:

"Grandma says men have a way of disappearing when anything is afoot, and it's true about Daddy. But sometimes he tries to talk to me and when he does, it's like soft raindrops making hopeful marks on a desert plateau."

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