Monday, May 3, 2010

Spreading the Awesome: Marcelo in the Real World

Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and wished there was more? Or better yet, wished your writing could move people the way that the story moved you? Marcelo in the Real World is that kind of book.

It's no secret that I love fantasy, but I try to read outside of the genre as well. Marcelo isn't a super hero. He's a teenage boy with an unidentified cognitive disorder who is comfortable with his routines, his special-ed school, his job at the therapeutic riding stables. His father decides that for the summer Marcelo needs to move outside of his comfort zone and so Marcelo goes to work in the real world: at his father's law firm. But neither of them is prepared for what that means.

In the hands of another author, this story could end up being a sentimental tear-jerker. Author Francisco X. Stork doesn't take that route. Instead he gives us an unflinchingly honest look at what it means to be normal. While there are some obvious fish out of water situations, there are also some unexpected consequences that make this book a real page turner. As Marcelo tries to live up to his father's expectations, he starts to learn that choices aren't always black and white in the real world. The way he approaches these discoveries is what makes this story unique.

There is so much to love about this book. I love that in spite of his differences, I never felt sorry for Marcelo. I love that while the family is Mexican, they are completely American. I love that the story made me think about how what's right in one situation might not always be the right answer. 

Marcelo in the Real World is Francisco X. Stork's third novel and it has garnered a lot of awards. His newest book, The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, came out in March. If it's half as good as Marcelo, it'll be well worth the money.

I loved this book so much, I'm giving a copy to one of you dear readers. If you'd like to win this book -- hardcover I might add! -- follow this blog and leave me a comment before midnight Tuesday PST. I'll post the winner Wednesday morning.

If you're looking for other great book recommendations, check out this list of Recommended Reads from Elana Johnson. If you're making your way through all the awesome this morning, next on the list is Courtney Barr.  She's reviewing Bree Despain's The Dark Divine.

Thanks to Elana for organizing this blogfest of books. I can see my TBR pile growing and growing...!

57 comments:

Candyland said...

Sounds like another good read!

Katie said...

I have always wanted to read this - especially since Cheryl Klein edited it. She's so durn cool.

Mary McDonald said...

Great review. This is the second review I've read so far, both outside my preferred genres, but both reviews make me want to read the books. lol.

Indigo said...

I loved the reference, "He gives us an unflinchingly honest look at what it means to be normal."

Having grown up with a hearing disability until I became deaf; I'm well aware how normal might mean something different to someone else.

Thanks for the opportunity to be entered for this book! (Hugs)Indigo

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

My interest is piqued! Thanks for the great review and awesome contest!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I borrowed this one from the library because my son has the same condition as Marcelo (let's just say it was easy to figure out the cognitive disorder). Unfortunately, I never had a chance to read it. I've heard amazing things about the book. Will definitely put it back on my TBR pile. Great review! :D

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Thanks for the link of course ;o)

sounds great! I cannot wait to check this one out!

Wonderful review!!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Kelly said...

I've heard wonderful, wonderful things about this book! And yes after today, my To Read pile will longer than ever!

Jonathon Arntson said...

My TBR pile is growing because of Elana too, and I let her know it, but this book has made its way to the top. Thanks for your great words!

dawn-metcalf said...

I have this book and I love it dearly for all the reasons you said, most of which are about how love and honesty are what it means to be human. This cuts across all notions of "Otherness" and is so well-written, it pierces the heart.

This is a total must-read!!

Rebecca said...

Sounds like a lovely read. And what a beautiful cover illustration too!

Natalie said...

This sounds great. I'll have to check it out.

Brodie said...

This sounds brilliant, this is definitely going on my wishlist now! I'm loving this "Spreading The Awesome" thing, I'm discovering some amazing new reads from it!

I would love to be entered if this is open internationally :)

~Jamie said...

Ohhh, now that looks like a cool book!

Thanks for spreading the awesome!

(200th follower shout out! Whaddup!)

Carolyn V. said...

Ahhh! I have so many books to read. And they are all awesome! Thanks for the awesomeness Sherrie! =)

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, this sounds great. Definitely added to my list. Thanks for sharing!

Deb said...

"Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and wished there was more?" Yes and yes, yes. I will often read books like this slowly, very slowly, because I don't want them to end.

My TBR pile is growing. I am just LOVING this idea from Elana. Thanks for participating and adding your review!

Anna said...

This book has been on my reading list for a while now - I've heard nothing be amazing things about it! "Spreading the Awesome" is going to make my reading list explode, but I'm not complaining. :-)

Suzette Saxton said...

AMAZING cover. And it sounds so good! I would love to read this.

Lydia Kang said...

Nice review! This series is great! Count me in for the contest!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Sherrie, this sounds lovely. I really need to read this one. Please add me to the list!

Christine Fonseca said...

Oh my goodness..this sounds so great! Definitely adding it to my list.

Laura Pauling said...

I have seen this book around. And would love to read it. You can enter me!

Lori W. said...

My favorite aspect of this book is the fact that Marcelo comes up against the idea that choices aren't always black and white. Glad you're spreading the awesomeness; this book is one of my top fave reads of 2010.

Michelle McLean said...

Sounds like an awesome read!

Readerly Person said...

Count me in!

- Rebecca

rebeccaswells(at)gmail(dot)com

Taffy said...

Sounds like another book to add to my summer reading list!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Sounds like an awesome read. I'll be crossing my fingers that I win the copy, but it goes on my TBR list no matter what. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

Natalie Whipple said...

Count me in! Yay!

Janna Qualman said...

A sentimental tear-jerker? Count me in. I love books that make me feel the gamut of human emotion. Thanks!

And thanks for visiting my blog today, too!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

You got my interest. That book sounds amazing.

Mary Campbell said...

I just finished reading this book - loved it. I enjoyed your thoughts on it.

Jackee said...

Thanks for sharing, Sherrie! I started this one but couldn't finish it before I had to return it to the library. I was so sad because I loved Marcelo's voice.

Now I'll HAVE to pick it up again!

T. Anne said...

This sounds like a book I'd LOVE to read. Please put me in the drawing!!! It sounds like a winner all the way around.

Kari said...

Spreading the Awesome? What a great concept! Thanks for the intriguing (or should I say awesome?) review!

Yamile said...

I've been wanting to read this one too for a long time. Oh my! When am I ever going to write with so many wonderful books out in the wild!

Angela said...

I've not heard of this one, but now I have to read it! Fingers crossed that I'll win!

Christina Lee said...

This sounds GOOD!!!!!! I'm following you now too--finally!

Kathy McCullough said...

I loved this book too. It was so thoughtful and well-written. Excellent choice!

Rivkie Re said...

Sounds great! I'd like to win! I became a follower!
rivkarno1(at)hotmail(dot)com

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

What a great review. I love how you approach it: "He gives us an unflinchingly honest look at what it means to be normal."

Truly refreshing. I'm very intrigued with this Marcelo, and I'm curious about how he's dealt with in the novel.

Thanks for the recommendation and for the contest, too!

paulgreci said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the opportunity!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I am dying to read this book. I would LOVE to be part of your drawing - you know I'm a loyal follower! :-)

Elana Johnson said...

Excellent review! I so need to read this book, like, stat!

Jenn Johansson said...

That sounds really good. Another addition to the TBR list! :)

Nichole Giles said...

Sounds like a great book. Sign me up, because, who wouldn't want to win a great book?

Thanks for the recommendation.

Jenn Wilks said...

I'd love to win a copy! It looks like an /awesome/ read. :o)

Creepy Query Girl said...

Oooh, Thank you for reviewing books like this. It's so hard for me to figure out what books to order online (slim pickings for books in english in france) so these reviews really help me narrow it down!
PS- You've got a little suttin suttin waiting for you on my blog

Elle Strauss said...

I'm a new follower. Thanks for the chance to win this book!

Liz S said...

I'm a new follower. I've heard of this book before, but after your glowing review, it's definitely moving up to the top of the list! Thanks for the review.

Becky Levine said...

I thought I was following--huh! But I am now, and I'd love to enter. The book sounds wonderful.

Demon Hunter said...

Sounds like a really wonderful story, Sherrie. I will pick this us. :-D I always read outside my genre. It's helps with the writing and plus I like to be well-rounded.

Dawn Simon said...

I love this book, and you did a beautiful job reviewing it! Don't enter me in the drawing because:
a. I have a copy,
b. I've already won a great book at your awesome blog.
It's so cool (and generous) that you're giving one away, though!

Are you going to LA this summer? I think I saw you comment at someone's blog that you are. I hope so. I'd love to meet you in person, Sherrie! :)

Suzanne Casamento said...

Sounds like a great book. And I love that you're spreading the awesomeness! I wish I had known. I would have liked to spread awesomeness too. : )

B.J. Anderson said...

Yay, I made it in time to enter the contest! :D Sounds like a good one!

Casey McCormick said...

I'm SO glad you featured MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD. I read it recently and loved it tons. It totally deserved the recommendation.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

It must be good if Cheryl edited it...I had lunch with her at a conference a few years ago. She's passionate about "her" books. I'll check this one out at B & N. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...