Jo could never have guessed that the friendship she so desperately craves would come in the shape of a severely disabled boy. He can’t even speak. Maybe it is because he can’t speak that she finds herself telling him how difficult it is living with her eccentric, mentally fragile mother.
Behind Chris’ lopsided grin and gigantic blue wheelchair is a real person — with a sense of humour, a tremendous stubborn streak and a secret he has kept from everyone.
For a while it seems life may actually get better. But as Jo finds out just how terrible life is for Chris, and as her own life spirals out of control, she becomes desperate to change things for both of them. In a dramatic turn of events, Jo makes a decision that could end in tragedy.
This is the story of how an unusual friendship unlocks the words that neither knew they had.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 11th 2014 by O’Brien Press
Oh my goodness! I’ve never felt so amazed and utterly moved by a story before in my entire life! It left me feeling inspired and really in awe!
Kim Hood has brought something very unique to the table here and it’s ever so beautiful. What I loved the most had to be the two main characters, their differences and also their amazing journey together. There were highs, lows and so much more in-between. I cried, I laughed and I felt proud of the characters that I grew to love so much.
Main character Chris is severely disabled, his every need taken care of by others and he has no means of communication. He sits slumped in his chair watching the world go by, without really participating.
Then we have the very lovely Jo, who’s point of view the story is told from. Jo’s mum suffers from extreme bouts of depression, she is a bit of a recluse and is very agitated by even the slightest change to routine. Jo is an all-round carer for her mum, doing things no child should and my heart broke for her. She is also pushed out by her peers and is a bit of a loaner at school. All she wants to do is avoid the awkwardness of lunchtime…she finds her safe haven in the most unlikely of places – the special education wing.
Jo volunteers to help Chris out at lunchtime, not even knowing the extent of care that he actually needs. But Jo is a trooper and just dives right in. She soon discovers that she has a lot to say and Chris is a great listener.
You see the beauty about this book is that there is more than one person finding a voice…they just don’t know it yet. That ending <3!!
I really and truly can’t champion this brave and boldly fearless little bit of totally diverse fiction enough. Why oh why aren’t there more books like this out there – all ages could learn a thing or two. I don’t usually say this but – go buy it, please! I just know it’s going to make my top 10 books of the year!
*Special thanks to the publishing house for providing the review copy in exchange for an honest review*