This story and its characters made me feel a hundred different emotions.
It’s the story of an eleven year old girl named Melody who has cerebral palsy. She is unable to walk, talk, or hold anything in her hands. She is intelligent, has a photograhic memory, and loves country music.
I was completely moved by her struggles. Inside, Melody is like any other young girl. She wants to make friends and wear nice outfits and make plans outside of school. Her exterior, however, limits the things she can do and the people who will approach her and treat her as a “normal” person. It was infuriating at times to read about the prejudices of people, as well as upsetting to realize I have judged people as quickly as anyone else.
Melody shares stories from her early childhood, as well as her transition into elementary school. An inclusion program at her school allows her to integrate with other children, but there she faces even greater struggles trying to fit in. I absolutely loved the realistic aspects in this story. Draper does not hold back. Sometimes we tend to shy away from portraying our honest human nature, but the author does the opposite. She puts all of our issues as humans on the spotlight, reminding us that we are doing something wrong by judging from appearances.
Near the end, I was left gasping at the edge of my seat — something I was not expecting. It takes a lot for a story to have this big of a reaction on me, but this one really did it. I was not expecting most of what happened, so kudos to the author.
The writing was great, but I felt like some aspects of the story didn’t reach their full potential. Regardless, this is a book worth reading. And Melody is a character worth meeting.