Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Marcelo in the Real World is a cute yet strange novel.
Summary from Goodreads:
Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm.
He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file -- a picture of a girl with half a face -- that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.
I just picked up this book after I finished my other book in class one day. It was the only one that looked even halfway interesting. I had read Stork's other book, The Memory of Light, and was wondering about this one. The cover is really strange.
The writing style was very interesting (I don't know how else to describe it). It was in Marcello's point of view, and his trains of thought were weird. It was written in this strange style, with Marcello sometimes referring to himself in the third person. He sounded overly mature and stupid at the same time, which really bugged me.
“Is not seeing any ugly parts in myself an ugly part? Is not wanting to forgive someone's ugly parts an ugly part in oneself?"
Yeah. I didn't understand a word you said, but yeah.”
Marcello also had a strange obsession with religion. He obsessed over it, and it drove me nuts.
I thought the moral of this story was pretty good. Marcello learned to be more adult(ish), and that the "real" world can be mean and nice at the same time.
The characters were some of the highlights in this book. Jasmine was a young lady who took any circumstance without complaining. Wendell was a sleazy little brat who was sneaky around Marcello. There were some other characters, but they didn't stand out as much as these ones.
Overall, this was an okay book that wasn't really for me. I give it three stars.
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