This was an interesting book, and a fairly quick read. The story by Terry Trueman is told from the perspective of Shawn McDaniel, a fourteen year-old boy that suffers from C.P. (Cerebral Palsy). This has left him unable to communicate with the world around him, but he has an interesting secret. He can remember everything that he hears since the age of three or four. Shawn is really a "secret genius" as he calls himself.
Shawn's father is a celebrated writer and poet that has had a very difficult time in dealing with Shawn's life. He no longer lives at home and is on poor terms with Shawn's older brother and sister. He has also been talking about how it might be more merciful if Shawn was dead so that he would no longer feel any pain, especially from the constant seizures that Shawn experiences.
Shawn is convinced that his father intends to kill him, but doesn't know what he can do stop it.
Overall, this is a very good book. The main character is very likable provides a unique view of the world around him. The brother and sister are well developed as supporting characters as well. The pace of the book is also very quick. This page turner keep me engrossed, wanting see if the father was or was not going to go through with taking his son's life. The father's struggles come across as very real despite that we get the insight of how much "alive" Shawn really is.
There were a few drawbacks in the book. The section where Shawn talks about being a "retard" felt clumsy and I a bit overdone; especially when talking about his classmates. There are some really strong moments in the book where Shawn remembers seeing death for the first time or the time his brother defended him from a couple of bullies, but early on, it feels a bit disjointed as the author provides background to the narrator. The ending may also leave some readers with a want for more...but I don't want to give anything away.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. It will give most readers an opportunity to delve into a world they may have only had the opportunity to see others struggle with dealing. Readers will be able to connect with the characters, no matter the reader's background, and they will find it easy to become wrapped up in Shawn's fate.