This book is the final and third part of Monisha K Gumber’s Teen book series. The first and second one being Sick of Being Healthy and Dying to Live respectively. It raises serious issues such as emotional and sexual abuse of children as well as the sensitive topic of learning disabilities. The book is written in free verse style inline with the character of a beautiful teen girl always considered dumb. The story is dark and edgy with psychedelic elements. Illustrations are added to make the raw narrative more meaningful and a visual delight for the reader. It is meant for teen girls, young adults but recommended for even parents and teachers to understand the importance of treating such children with respect and humility.
Genre: Fiction/ Free Verse
Price: 69 INR/ $5.00
My Ratings: 4.5/5
This was the first time I read a book which tells a story in verse form and though skeptical about it at first, I enjoyed it much to my own surprise.
What I liked about the book :
–> Handles a societal evil like child abuse with simple yet powerful words
–> Short yet impactful
–> Talks about school from the perspective of a special needs child who doesn’t enjoy it (and rightly says some things about our education and schooling system which need to be reformed)
–> Without saying it in clear words, manages to talk about how ADHD and other mental health issues need counselling and, even proper love and support at home
–> Adds to the fact that predators of abuse are generally people in the family or inner social circle itself. Hence, we did to be carer of who our children spend time with, especially alone
–> The way it brings home the point that victims of child abuse are never fully recovered from the trauma, neither can they love someone with their full heart, body and soul. The only way to breakfree from it is through counselling and the victim’s realization to be guilt free as well as by forgiving themselves and the predator who did it.
What I didn’t like about the book :
–> Seemed a little too short; I wanted more, about Dolly’s other experiences, besides the abuse and difficulties in school.
–> The friendship angle was almost 0 in this one, whereas the previous two books talked about it quite a bit, which made us understand the bond between the three girls
–> “their sneers that made them feel good about themselves simply because a beautiful girl in their class was so, so damn stupid that she didn’t stand a chance of ever, ever making it in life and then they could forgive God for making them ugly At least they got marks you know.”
–> “I had a disability, a learning disability, as they say which meant I wasn’t normal I wonder who is . . .”
–> “School A place having a loving and supportive atmosphere where children develop emotionally and academically where children reach their full potential a nurturing environment that develops confidence We all know it’s nothing but propaganda.”
–>”Children can be cruel How I wish parents would teach them the true meaning of kindness right from the beginning, which is, being nice to the weak kids in class and the fat ones, the short ones, the weaklings, the dheeley screws, and all the other kids who don’t fit in.”
–> “And that’s why they say that a mother’s love is the most potent force in the world. I wonder why they consider me dumb even when I use such smart phrases.”
–> “Whoever invented the idea that intelligent people are those who know by heart the names of presidents and vice-presidents or capitals or currencies of the countries of the world was the biggest dumb ass to begin with! That’s GK, dude!”