Friday, January 25, 2013

The Namesake by Steven Parlato & Giveaway

Gifted artist? Standout student? 

All his teachers are sure certain that Evan Galloway can be the graduate who brings glory to small, ordinary St. Sebastian's School. 

As for Evan, however, he can't be bothered anymore. 

Since the shock of his young father's suicide last spring, Evan no longer cares about the future. In fact, he believes that he spent the first fifteen years of his life living a lie. Despite his mother's encouragement and the steadfast companionship of his best friend, Alexis, Evan is mired in rage and bitterness. Good memories seem ludicrous when the present holds no hope. 

Then Evan's grandmother hands him the key--literally, a key--to a locked trunk that his father hid when he was the same age as Evan is now. Digging into the trunk and the small-town secrets it uncovers, Evan can begin to face who his father really was, and why even the love of his son could not save him.

In a voice that resonates with the authenticity of grief, Steven Parlato tells a different kind of coming-of-age story, about a boy thrust into adulthood too soon, through the corridor of shame, disbelief, and finally...compassion.

At first, I was concerned that this book might be a little too touchy feely for me.  Don't get me wrong, I like drama and a good book that can make me cry.  I just wasn't in the mood for overly sappy.  Thankfully, the character of Evan Jr has an amazing sense of humor that had me laughing at the beginning.  As we delve further into the secrets behind Evan's dad, we become some engrossed in the tale that even the sappy parts become welcome.  though I expected mostly drama, this book was much more about mystery and self-exploration.  

Having lost my own father a few years ago, this book actually hit me pretty hard.  Evan does something that most humans never do.  he learned how to look at his father as a person and delved as deeply as possible so that he could put together a full picture of who his dad was.  Not only that, he was able to take that information and put it in relation to himself and make himself a stronger, more aware person.  

Those of you who enjoy drama and mystery will definitely enjoy this.  Some of the book is difficult to read, owing to the great amounts of pain that are portrayed, but it also gives a strong look into the human psyche.  As a young adult book, I think it's amazing.  Every teen will take away an important lesson from this.  It could be about how to deal with situations at home, grief, or even bullying.  Most importantly, they'll learn how to look at their own life and what they intend to do with it.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Shawn

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1 comment:

  1. Dear Shawn,

    Thank you for the sensitive reading of my novel. I really appreciate you devoting space to - and hosting a giveaway of! - THE NAMESAKE! I'd be happy to send a signed bookplate to be included with the winner's copy. Let me know if you'd like to arrange that.

    All best,



The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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