ARC Review of Speak of Me as I Am by Sonia Belasco

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Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco

Publication Date: April 4, 2017.

Publisher: Philomel Books.

Genres: Young Adult and Contemporary.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: A moving story of grief, honesty, and the healing power of art—the ties that bind us together, even when those we love are gone.

Melanie and Damon are both living in the shadow of loss. For Melanie, it’s the loss of her larger-than-life artist mother, taken by cancer well before her time. For Damon, it’s the loss of his best friend, Carlos, who took his own life.

As they struggle to fill the empty spaces their loved ones left behind, fate conspires to bring them together. Damon takes pictures with Carlos’s camera to try to understand his choices, and Melanie begins painting as a way of feeling closer to her mother. But when the two join their school’s production of Othello, the play they both hoped would be a distraction becomes a test of who they truly are, both together and on their own. And more than anything else, they discover that it just might be possible to live their lives without completely letting go of their sadness.

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Thank you Philomel Books for my advanced review copy of Speak of Me As I Am. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Be aware that Speak of Me As I Am deals with death, cancer, suicide and has some offensive language. All of this is discussed down below in my review. There will be spoilers in this review so consider yourself warned.

Speak of Me As I Am is a story about two teenagers, Melanie and Damon, who have both dealt with an immense loss but in different ways. The story made me cry and there were several scenes I enjoyed, in the moment, however, there is a lot about this book that bothered me. I see what this story is trying to do. It wants to show us how grief is something we just have to live with and how there are so many different ways we experience it and are faced with it. I really wanted to love this book, but it fell short in so many ways and was even hurtful at times instead.

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