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Something to Say: 10/19/20
Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée is about an unlikely friendship between an introvert and an extrovert. Janae is used to being invisible at school. She has her favorite YouTube show: Astrid Dane. Then a new boy comes to school: Aubrey. He's friendly and loud and also a "Danish." He decides to be her friend.
At home, Aubrey lives with her mother and brother in her grandfather's house. Gee loves John Wayne movies and little else. Malcolm, the brother, was in college on a basketball scholarship. Now he's home, injured and depressed. With Mom working long hours, most of the house upkeep and dinner fixing falls on Janae.
A big chunk of Janae's desire to be invisible stems from a series of bad coincidences. She believes her bad thoughts lead to bad results. For example, she missed her brother and now he's home injured.
But the heart and soul of the novel is Janae learning to find her voice — to voice her opinions. At home that means standing up to her relatives. At school it means being brave enough to do the debate assigned in English. In the community it means giving public support to the name change proposed for her school.
My one wish though, is that Janae found her voice sooner in the novel. She spends so much of the book paralyzed by her fear of speaking up and public speaking. There was a lot of potential wasted here. I also felt bad for Aubrey who is penalized for her inaction.