Friday, June 6, 2014
[Review] I'm Nobody: The Lost Pages by Alex Marestaing
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mental Illness, Crisis of Faith, Poetry
Age Range: 9-12, grades 4th through 7th
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Compensated by a free book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for a review.
Link for tour: I'm Nobody.
Kindle Price is $2.99
Thirteen year old Caleb Reed's life is lived behind the confines of his dismal home. Caleb's parents are at odds as to how to deal with him. Caleb's cat is his lone companion. His attention is drawn to the old mansion across the street, especially since activity is occurring. He obsesses about what or who has caused changes in the mansion. The story picks up a notch, when a note is found by Caleb. It is poetic, cryptic, inspiring, and challenging. A previous classmate, Iris, has the idea to make a documentary about Caleb. Their relationship ensues only because of Iris's persistence. Neither one of them expected the outcome.
Fantastic story, and one I cannot wait to pass on to my ten year old granddaughter.
From the title of the book, to the eccentric characters and their journeys, its themes, imagery, is all creative and unique.
Caleb has agoraphobia, as well as anxiety (of course), OCD, and repressed anger and sadness.
His parents portray differing views on what can be or should be done for Caleb. Their feelings represent parents who have a child that has a mental disorder, and are not equipped to deal with the situation. They want to protect and care for the child, but they grasp in understanding the disease, what are the boundaries for it, and the big question-what about the future? I have an adult child with mental health disorders. He has two children who struggle at understanding their dad. I can relate in many ways to this story. I'm hoping the story will be a fresh approach for my grandchildren in understanding their dad.
Iris is an important character. Through her lens and perspective we see Caleb through another view. It is his voice we read through most of the book, but to read what Iris thinks and surmises is tantamount.
Caleb's retreat into the security of his dreary home, versus the old abandoned mansion across the street, have parallels. They are both empty of human vibrancy and emotion. They are both hiding something. They are both a cocoon, in a time of slumber, until something awakens them.
Author Alex Marestaing loves to create. He's written for media outlets such as The Walt Disney Company, Lego, Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins, and The Los Angeles Times and has authored three YA novels. His latest, "I’m Nobody: The Lost Pages," recently won an honorable mention at the London Book Festival and was nominated for a 2014 Epic Award. Though he spends most of his time imagining ideas for the youth market, he's also written for faith based publications and has covered his favorite sport, soccer, in Europe and the U.S. for Sports Spectrum Magazine and Yanks Abroad. When Alex isn't writing or speaking at conferences, you'll most likely find him hanging out in California with his wife, three kids, and Milou, his dog.