24 July 2013
The Language Inside
Thompson, Holly. The Language Inside. Delacorte, 2013.
Emma's family lived in Japan for most of her life, but when Emma's mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, her family moves back to New England so her mom can be treated at a hospital while the kids stay with family members. Everyone expects Emma to love being back in the States, but Emma misses Japan and wishes she were there to help her friends clean up after the earthquake. Emma volunteers at a hospital where she meets a woman who can only communicate with her eyes. Together they use poetry to open up and express themselves.
This book is written in free verse, which I don't usually appreciate since it seems that some authors use free verse to make their book different or cool, when actually they're still writing in prose, just with oddly broken lines. This book is no exception. I would have loved this story in standard prose format, but in free verse it seemed a bit inaccessible. The references to Japanese culture were interesting, as was Emma's relationship with the Cambodian boy that she meets. I would have liked to have heard more about how the dance to raise money for Japan went over, and I would have liked to get to know the other characters better. It wasn't a bad story at all; it just wasn't great.
Recommended for: fans of free verse; people interested in learning about Asian cultures
Red Flags: none
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars