Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Book Review: The Other Mother by Matthew Dicks

Matthew Dicks climbs up my Favorite Authors list with each new book. In this one we have Michael, a young teen, who one day over breakfast looks at his mother, and has the horrible realization that while she looks like his mother and sounds like his mother, that woman or that creature in front of him, is not actually his mother.

And that's by far from his only problem that he has to deal with. His little sister has invited their next door neighbor, one of the prettiest and most popular girls at school, to go fishing with them. His jerk of a step-father is still a jerk. He has to check in with the counselor at school twice a day. He has a big secret about his father's death that he hasn't told his mother. He regrets having agreed to help a friend at school get revenge on a teacher. And his little brother is... well, a little brother. And yet every time he comes home, he hopes his mother will have returned and this faux-mother will have disappeared to wherever she came from.

Michael is dealing with a lot of crap. And his brain which already was on overload and already had learning differences going on and maybe some depression, kind of goes on the fritz when it comes to his mother. There is an actual condition that is like this, but that's not the point. The point is whether or not that's resolved, Michael has too much on his shoulders, and not enough workable coping skills.

While this is an adult book, I think it's perfect for teens too. And in a way, everyone will be able to identify with Michael. Hopefully none of us has all this on our plates, but we've all felt overwhelmed and like life is just too much, and you'll see a bit of yourself in this story. And you'll come away with some hope.

This book is published by St. Martin's Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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