Featured Review: Spoken (Melanie Weiss)
About This Book:
High school freshman Roman Santi has everything -- good looks, great friends, a mansion with an Infinity swimming pool -- except the one thing he really wants. A relationship with his father. When Roman's life gets turned upside down (thanks mom!?) he is forced to leave his pampered Hollywood lifestyle and move into his grandparents' Midwestern home. Sleeping on a lumpy pullout sofa and starting at a new high school is the WORST but Roman’s life starts to look up when his pink-haired friend Zuzu, and his crush, a classmate named Claire, introduce him to performance poetry through the high school's Spoken Word Club. While his mom is flying back and forth to L.A. to try to return them to the life they had, Roman becomes part of a diverse group of characters that challenge his rather privileged view of the world. Through Spoken Word, Roman recognizes the hole in his own life he needs to fill and discovers his voice. Spoken Word leads Roman on a journey of new friendships, first love, and finding the dad he never knew. Spoken is an uplifting, funny and heartfelt coming of age story that captures how the honesty of performance poetry binds together students from all different walks of life and forever changes Roman's future.
*Review Contributed By Karen Klein Staff Reviewer*
Although I had heard some spoken poetry before, I never realized that there was a whole movement behind it. I really was enlightened on this.
I love Roman's voice in this novel and it seemed really relatable to teens. The story went rather quickly and it is fun and quick read. I enjoyed Roman as a character as his story arc was pretty dramatic. His mom did frustrate me as she seemed quite immature at the beginning of the story although she also did grow quite a bit as a person. The contrast between LA and Chicago in the story is quite unique and I enjoyed how Roman adapted to these differences.
Some things that left me wanting more was that the story was a little slow in places and there wasn't a lot of action in the story. Also, I would have liked to learn more about some of the side characters such as Roman's girlfriend. I never really got a sense of who she was.
Although, I don't think spoken word poetry is for me, I really enjoyed learning about it. I think this is a great book for teens who are looking for a constructive outlet for things they are going through.