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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

08 October 2009

Say the Word

Say the Word by Jeannine Garsee is exactly the kind of book my YA Lit professor would like - it captures the emotion and angst of being a teen to the point that the reader has muscle fatigue from gripping the book.

Shawna Gallagher feels like she has three personalities - Perfect Shawna who does what she is told regardless of her own opinion, Pathetic Shawna who grovels for attention, and Evil Shawna who likes to blurt out the truth even when it hurts someone. Really she is just trying to figure out her place in the world.

Shawna lives with her dad. Her mother left the family for another woman when Shawna was seven and since then her father has filled her head with homophobic rants to the point that she started to believe them.

But when her mother's partner, Fran, calls and says her mother has had a stroke, Shawna flies to NYC (from Ohio) to see her before she dies. Her controlling father also shows up because her mother never updated her will. He proceeds to try and take everything from Fran and her two sons.

Say the Word is the story of a young woman coming to terms with what is real versus what she has been taught - challenging her beliefs about lesbians, other cultures, and her father's role in her life. It is a book that is difficult to read (partly because Shawna is so unlikable at the beginning of the book) but challenges many prejudices and leaves the reading thinking.

Garsee, Jeannine. (2009). Say the Word. New York: Bloomsbury.

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Blogger Jeannine Garsee said...

Thank you so much for reviewng my book. :)

09 October, 2009 13:14  

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