I actually tried to post yesterday, believe it or not. I got as far as the title and then my cursor wouldn’t allow me to start the actual post. My eyes were so miserably itchy, however, that instead of asking my hubby about it I hopped in the shower and finished my book instead. I did ask him this morning; he had me deactivate the ad blocker (is that two words?) on this site. (He activated it on my computer a day or two ago because I couldn’t handle the constant Arby’s ads on Goodreads–there’s no way to close them, they bump you down to the comments instead of letting you read the summary you’re looking for, and they play over and over. If I’d had to hear “WE HAVE THE MEAT!” one more time I might have gone over the edge.) That solved the problem, and so here I am! (Sadly, still with the miserably itchy eyes. Prescription eye drops cost an arm and a leg, and anything that’s not eye-specific is likely to make me sleepier than I already am, which is NOT a good thing.)
Anyway. I was going to review a recipe yesterday, but since I stayed up later than I should have to finish my book last night, you get that review instead. Or rather, you get a choice; I can offer you a long review or a short.
Long Review: Oh, how I loved this book! Listen, Slowly is by the same author as Inside Out & Back Again, which was an incredibly deserving Newbery Honor book in 2012. (I’d tell you the author’s name, but now I’m self-conscious about all the diacritical marks necessary in Vietnamese and I have no idea how to properly depict it on this blog.) I was expecting it to be sort of similar to its predecessor, but not so much. IO&BA was beautiful and made me cry, whereas Listen was fabulously funny with moments of near-perfect poignancy. The former is a verse novel with a narrator I related to, while the latter is in prose with a narrator I didn’t always like at first. (I didn’t necessarily relate to her for any of the book, but I did like her by the end. Mostly.) The thing is, I didn’t have to like her. Her voice is strong and funny and outrageous from the get-go, and her journey is a real one. I laughed out loud enough times that I stopped counting, and yet Listen has depth to spare. Mai’s reluctant mission in Vietnam is to help her Grandmother accept that her Grandfather, lost in the war, is truly gone; she wanted to spend the summer on the beach back home in California, working up the courage to talk to her crush. The outcome, from a general sense, is predictable, and yet the story itself is fresh and unexpected and delightful. Bottom line? Everyone from 5th or 6th grade on up ought to read this book.
Short Review: Listen, Slowly is $3.84 on Amazon, for Pete’s sake. Go buy the book. (Unless you’re my sister, because then you’re buying a house and so officially moving again, which means it’s already on its way.)