Customer Reviews for

Marcelo in the Real World

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Marcelo

I don't even know how to write this review. This book blew me away in so many different ways. Marcelo is smart - super smart - actually, he just doesn't come off that way since it takes him ten times as long as anyone else to process anything - verbal or nonverbal commu...
I don't even know how to write this review. This book blew me away in so many different ways. Marcelo is smart - super smart - actually, he just doesn't come off that way since it takes him ten times as long as anyone else to process anything - verbal or nonverbal communication. He is happy to spend his summer working with the ponies at his school for disabled children until his father, who has never believed there is anything wrong with Marcelo, insists he take a job in the mail room at his law firm in order to become part of the 'real world'. Marcelo is convinced that he will be better off caring for his ponies but agrees to the arrangement. But Marcelo doesn't count on the unlikely friendship that forms between himself and his co-worker Jasmine and the unsettling interest the son of his father's partner, Wendell, shows in him either. Least of all, Marcelo doesn't expect or understand his reaction to the startling picture he finds of a young girl and his desire to help her.

I was so often reminded of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" since both boys like their order and routines, but Marcelo is able to interact with others on a much higher level and brought out more genuine responses than Christopher ever could. The biggest revelation to me was Marcelo's growth, just as his mother predicts, which pervades everything that happens throughout the book. As deep and serious as many of the topics in this book were, I still found it to be hilarious. Marcelo's tendency to literally define every expression to come his way competely endearing and just dang funny. Particularly when he became stumped by some slang term thrown around at the office. And since this book was obviously written by a male author who knows how to write about other men without creating caricatures, one particular scene with some old farmers had me cracking up to no end.

There is so much going on in this book with the underlying theme of music and religion that it was almost too much to take in during one sitting but I couldn't seem to tear myself away.

seemichelleread.blogspot.com

posted by SeeMichelleRead on June 1, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Marshmallow, I love you.

It's not really a three, but wasn't quite a four.

Seventeen year old Marcelo Sandoval is different. He hears music no one else can hear, his social development is stumped, and his special interests include religion, classical music, and therapy ponies. Marcelo is lo...
It's not really a three, but wasn't quite a four.

Seventeen year old Marcelo Sandoval is different. He hears music no one else can hear, his social development is stumped, and his special interests include religion, classical music, and therapy ponies. Marcelo is looking forward to a summer of working as a stable boy at Paterson, a school for kids with special needs, when his father tells him that he must get out of his comfort zone and join the "real world" or else he won't be able to go to Paterson for his senior year. The real world in this case is his father's law firm's mailroom where Marcelo will have to learn how to get along with Jasmine, his beautiful and quirky boss, complete tasks on time, and wade the truth out of all the corporate muck.

I was a tad disappointed in this book. It wasn't Marcelo. I loved him. I could read books in his voice all the time and never get sick of it. It's blunt, but honest and insightful. Marcelo was a great character, and the topic of autsim didn't deter me either. I was quite excited to see how he would survive in an average person's reality. I also liked Jasmine and Arturo, as well as Marcelo's fluctuating relationships with them. I didn't like Wendell, but I wasn't supposed to. He was the designated douche.

What I really didn't like was practically the entire middle part which consisted of the "legal thriller". There was nothing thrilling about it. It was dull, and I found the discussions, both internal and external, to be dull too. I just felt that out of all the paths that this book could have taken, why this one? I would have rather liked to see it spent more on Jasmine and Marcelo's stay in Vermont, or with the Rabbi or something. I just didn't like that part.

Marcelo was a great character though, and overall the book was a worth-while experience. I recommend it to anyone looking to get into the head of an autistic kid.

Oh, and the author's name is epic. Francisco X. Stork? Sounds like a James Bond character. I really hope it isn't a pseudonym.

posted by Awesomeness1 on July 31, 2010

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    Marcello in the Real World.

    Marcello in the Real World was a fantastic read! It has a bit of a slow start, but once the setting and everything about Marcello's character is set clear, it dives into such an interesting plot! Marcello is a seventeen year old boy who has a disease that is on the furthest spectrum of Autism. He hears in his head what he calls "Internal Music" which tends to be more of a feeling than a sound. This music is extremely symbolic in the plot because he turns to it whenever he is feeling any negative emotion or very happy. Although he is a bit slow in getting things done, he is actually quite brilliant and has the maturity of an adult. But he also has no sense of what certain emotions such as jealousy, sexual attractions, anger, sympathy, and so much more. He also learns about beauty from a character named Wendell, and this new learning plays a huge role for him. But by being taken out of what his comfort zone was, he is given the chance to truly develop those feelings. His father believes that he is perfectly normal and can function in the real world without believing he is in special need of attending a special school. So his father makes a deal with him to get him to experience the real world throughout his summer. Marcello is put into multiple experiences where he has to make decisions, and these situations are what help him grow into being capable of surviving in the real world. He deals with many complicated concepts of life throughout the story as well and finds himself getting deeply involved with a few particular situations in the book. Those very situations help him to understand the person that his father is, help him understand the lives of others, and also what he can do for others. Each character in the book is involved in the development of Marcello.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A beautiful, honest story

    Unlike many of the books I read and review in the young adult arena, I was not able to skip through this text quickly. I found myself reading a few chapters and then pondering on the implications of the text and the honesty it forced me to face in my own life. Marcelo has this way of relating experiences in their most simplistic form, breaking things down from the complexity that we often try to shroud our interaction and thought process with in order to pursue negative and destructive behavior that we ultimately know is wrong and bad for us and others.

    It caused me to question why we interact with each other in certain ways, and what prohibits us from being living in honesty and decency. It reminds me of many of the conversations I have around 'sharing' music, a term we use to defend something that it, in reality, is nothing but stealing. We have many methods we use to doublespeak ourselves into believing that this kind of behavior in all aspects of our lives is not only 'ok' but should actually be 'encouraged.' Through our selfishness, we create our own systems of misery and suffering, and I believe that a character like Marcelo has the capability to help us refocus and put it all back into perspective-cause and effect, action and consequence.

    As for the story itself, it's beautifully written, and I enjoyed every last word. It reads as if Stork truly took the time to create a rich, engaging, and educational experience for his audience. It's been several days since I've finished, and although I'm in the midst of other books, this text has stuck with me as I continue to process through my priorities and the way I live my life in general. Marcelo is a believable character who goes through a painful transition and an arc that is riddled with sadness and joy. I think, in many ways, his journey helps to remind us that the 'real world' is more complicated than we'd like it to be, but that we often create that drama for ourselves. I recommend this to all readers 13+.

    -Lindsey Miller, www.lindseyslibrary.com

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was great!

    Another reviewer said it started slow, but I thought it was nearly perfect from beginning to end. Endearing yet so real. It challenges our society's concept of 'right v. wrong' and what true success really is. I thought the profanity in the Vermont scenes was a little too much for a YA book, but that is the only criticism I can find and I'm sure the author just felt that added to the realism. Maybe it did, I just don't like to read it. Anyway, I would recommend this book (and already have) to every book lover, YA or not...b/c I'm not :O)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    QimyaAkam.makmk.I.ji

    KIyKAlX.iqokamakmj
    Km,imEJyam

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Marcelo In The Real World was one of those books that I kept say

    Marcelo In The Real World was one of those books that I kept saying I would get around to reading and then pushed off because of other, shinier books that were lurking nearby. When you're repainting your room and have boxes of books that you can't go through, though, you tend to grab what's at the top; Marcelo's story was what I grabbed.

    I'm sad I procrastinated reading this. It's a fantastic book with absolutely lovable characters - I didn't want to put it down. Marcelo is absolutely adorable; completely innocent and thoughtful and wonderful. Does he have a slight mental disorder? Sure. But I much prefer him to every other male in the book. (When you read the book, I'm sure you'll agree.)

    I liked Jasmine a lot; when you discover how she (kind of) got her job, you headdesk a little, because you like and respect her enough as a character to have wanted something different. (That's all I can say without being spoilery.) But I loved her character and I love how everything with her and Marcelo and the other characters wrapped up at the end.

    The writing is b-e-a-utiful. (Bruce Almighty reference? Anybody? Oh, okay.) Really, though; the writing IS beautiful. I love how Stork was able to show the way that Marcelo thought about the world without making him seem like a moron, like I feel a lot of writers could have.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    17-year-old Marcelo has an Asperser’s-like condition. He h

    17-year-old Marcelo has an Asperser’s-like condition. He has lived a sheltered life until the summer before his senior year of high school, when he is pressured into working at his father’s law firm for a summer. Marcelo learns many “real world” lessons—some sad, some uplifting. This was a wonderful little book. Although I really felt bad for Marcelo when he had to learn some of his life lessons, I also felt that it was good for him to learn these lessons. These mixed feelings of compassion for Marcelo’s situation made this a memorable book. There was one fleeting moment in this book where I felt that Stork had packed perhaps a few too many lessons into too small a space…but other than that the book was perfect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This book arrived in a timely mannar. The book was in great condition upon arrival. Could not ask for better service.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Cool

    Looks interesting

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Speechless

    I loved the book and i love the main character. I love how he has this gift. I want this gift. I would do any thing to be the girls that were around him. Hehe

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Loved it!

    Seeing into Marcelo's world was so eye-opening. Highly recommended; an extreelmely enjoyable read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wow!

    Rating: 5/5
    Age R: Because of certain material I believe it's at least pg-13
    Thoughts:
    Marcelo is a 17 year old guy who has an autistic-like condition, not necessarily Asperger's but similar. He can hear music in his mind, Internal Music (IM). It's like experiencing the feelings one gets when listening to music, except without the music. Marcelo's "special interest" is religion. He often sees his mother's best friend, a female rabbi even though he's Catholic, to talk about religion and life. Marcelo lives in a tree house, has a dog called Namu, short for Namu Amida Butsu, a Buddhist prayer, so basically everytime you read his name you are praying. Nifty huh?
    So far he's been used to attending a school called Paterson for special needs students, but now his lawyer father, Arturo, wants him to get out and experience the "real world" and if he can follow the "rules" he will go to Oak Ridge High School after the summer, which of course Marcelo does NOT want to do because he believes he will not fit in with the other students, but his father insist he work during the summer.
    This is how he ends up working at his father's law firm in the mail room, alongside Jasmine and her beautiful azure eyes.
    Unfortunately Marcelo has to deal with quite a few problems:
    -the a-holes he has to work with (so rude and crule they can be!)
    -the difficult decisions he keeps coming across
    -the new discoveries he makes
    -how to help the girl in a picture he found in a box marked "trash"
    -what to do about one of the a-holes, Wedell who has "things" in mind about Jasmine
    -figure out why he can't hear the IM anymore

    Reading in Marcelo's POV was incredible. I loved how Stork chose to write this book in that format it makes the reader really connect with Marcelo.
    I loved that I could relate to Marcelo, not just because he is Hispanic like me, but because of what he goes through. Okay I'm not autistic, but everyone goes through life and it's many complicated problems. It is different for all of us though of course, but hey what can we do? :D
    I think that we, those considered normal, are all abnormal and that Marcelo is the normal one. He is one of the most amazing protagonists I have ever read about and I know I will be reading this book again. It warmed my heart, it really did. This book is one of those books that changes your life and your way of perceiving it.


    YOU WILL ENJOY THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE:

    -The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
    -reading about autism
    -POV of a semi-autistic person
    -life changing novels
    -a protagonist you'll want to have in your life
    -unforgettable novels
    -humor
    -sadness
    -reading about the cruelty of the world
    -coming of age novels
    -love
    -music
    -reading about religion
    -unpredictable novels (gotta love surprises)
    -heart warming novels
    -must reads :D
    -Bless Me Ultima by Adolfo Anaya

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