The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley – Jan Andrews

The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley When no one listens, what’s the point of talking? Kyle McGinley doesn’t say a word. Fed up with being shuttled from one foster care home to another, he has stopped speaking. But at the home of Scott and Jill Wardman, with the help of a crow, and a swamp, and an excess of blank paint, he begins to think that maybe, just maybe, life could be better.

As long as his frigging dad doesn’t mess things up.

I really enjoyed this book. It was unique since it was written as an internal monologue. They say that over 80% of our self-talk (the things we say to ourselves in our head) is negative, and that’s definitely the case for Kyle. Kyle’s mind is dominated by his father’s voice which is full of cruelty, derision and negativity. At the start of the novel, a new voice appears in his head which is supportive, creative, and kind.

I thought the plot was really solid and even though I don’t know much about foster care, I understood Kyle’s frustrations at being ignored and unheard. I understood why he would decide to stop talking to have some control over his life. I sympathized with him and I cared about him. I also really liked his interactions with the foster couple that took him in, Jill and Scott. They were two very different people but their understanding and compassion for Kyle was really nice to see.

I really thought Jan Andrews did a great job getting into the mind of a wounded 16 year old guy. Highly recommended.

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