Stuck in Neutral

by Terry Trueman

Brief Summary: Shawn is, by standard definitions, mentally handicapped. He suffers from cerebral palsy and has absolutely no control over any of his muscles. Unbeknown to his family, doctors and anyone else, Shawn’s brain works just fine – in fact he can remember every thing he’s ever heard. He just has absolutely no way to communicate this knowledge to anyone. Nor the fact he thinks his father might be trying to kill him out of mercy.

Kell’s Chatty Review: Stuck in Neutral is, to be honest, uncomfortable – in both the subject matter and the tension created between Shawn and his father. Trueman wrote the book beautifully – straight, too the point and with enough foreshadowing to make the ending quite the ending (no spoilers here).

Shawn: is a fascinating character and really brings to surface the uncomfortable truth that doctors and specialists really do not have any idea of what some mentally handicapped people are experiencing. The idea is fascinating, scary and makes you think about the consequences of our assumptions.

There also: is a plot line regarding, for lack of a better term, the idea of mercy killing. Also an uncomfortable idea, but it is presented in a semi-unbiased way (although there is an ultimate thought on the concept, the author presents both sides of the matter equally), which makes the book much more thought provoking.

What I most wanted to do after reading this book: Think. A lot.

Where this book came from: The library.


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