Dealing with Grief

6 Mar

Don’t panic. Fiona is well. In fact, when I got home Tuesday afternoon, she was up and acting as if nothing had ever happened. Weird. But I’m watching.

The grief I want to talk about is int Jason Reynolds’ new book, The Boy in the Black Suit. 

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From the Publisher: Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.

Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.

 I listened to this on CDs generously provided by Audiobook Jukebox. The book is narrated by Corey Allen, who does a great job. He effectively portrays Matt, a teenage boy from Brooklyn, and manages to voice female characters well, by simple changes in his voice. The recording runs 7.75 hours on 7 CDs and is well listening to. I think I enjoyed  The Boy in the Black Suit more as an audiobook than I would have reading the text because of Corey Allen’s ability to sound like a Brooklyn teenager.

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