**spoiler alert** I was expecting a different book than this. The main hook would be about the girl (deaf since age six), yet barred from learning ASL...more**spoiler alert** I was expecting a different book than this. The main hook would be about the girl (deaf since age six), yet barred from learning ASL, and how she deals with this.
If this were an average YA book, it would end with the girl overcoming her mother's anti-ASL tendencies and moving on with her life.
This is the book I initially thought I was borrowing.
Instead, HURT GO HAPPY is about a lot more than that. It delves into a lot of mysteries of communication, beyond animal-human communication, deaf-hearing communication, into things like...how can a mother and daughter, bound so close by their past, be so unable to communicate with each other?
The Afterword, in which the author discusses the many memories that got built into this book, is quite enlightening, and gives some scenes (like at the Clarke Foundation) extra weight.
It's not entirely perfect--some places get preachy (which is a shame, because the preachiness took me out of the book), the mother's anti-ASL motive does seem extra irrational in the beginning (but makes a bit more sense at the end), and Sukari is a very idealized form of house chimp (making mischief but never dangerous).
Still, it's a very powerful book, and I highly recommend it, especially to people curious about the way others different than them live.
Also: Kudos to the illustrator; the cover insisted I pick the book up.(less)
One blurb recommended this as something for Artemis Fowl fans. Unfortunally, it falls flat. I forgot about secondary characters who were vital to the...moreOne blurb recommended this as something for Artemis Fowl fans. Unfortunally, it falls flat. I forgot about secondary characters who were vital to the plot, but not onscreen all the time. Skulduggery and the girl's repartee was fun, but just not crackling the way the Fowl characters' dialogue is.(less)