Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
Roman is living the good life and he knows it, but it isn’t any different than the lives of all of his friends. Backyard swimming pools, indoor screening rooms, and expensive sports cars for everyone are a common thing. It is a good life. And then it happens. Roman’s mother pulls another famous stunt and Roman finds himself thrust back to Chicago to live with his grandparents in their average, ordinary neighborhood. As Roman dreams of returning to California, he is surprised to realize that average and ordinary are actually not bad. When he learns about Spoken Word, he finds his niche. He is a natural born poet. As his mother begins to evolve into a better, grown-up version of herself, Roman finds his birth father, helping her to resolve a past that will impact Roman’s life forever.
Spoken, a novel by Melanie Weiss, is a true rite of passage in the life of a fifteen-year-old boy. In this world of broken relationships and unresolved family issues, Weiss finds a way to successfully alter the life of the main character, but also bring a secondary character to her own epiphany. The language is fresh and the theme of Spoken is an interesting addition to YA fiction. While a story of self-discovery, Spoken lends itself to a different curricular option for teachers, a world of possibilities to young readers, and a special inspiration to biological parents. I really enjoyed Spoken and look forward to future storytelling from Melanie Weiss.