Dan Thorson's Reviews > Stitches

Stitches by David Small
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M 50x66
's review
Feb 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult-materials
Read in February, 2011

Small's biography unfolds over the course of a black and white graphic novel. The author introduces his reader to his life as a young adult primarily through interactions with his parents. His mother suffers from having been born with her heart on the wrong side of her body. Her physical ailments become manifest in her temperament as she constantly appears frustrated and angry. The reader also learns that this poor temperament stems from a loveless marriage and a shocking secret. Small's father is not much more uplifting. He is a respected radiologist who typically avoids family interaction.
The plot of Small's story is driven by another shocking secret. He is told that a surgeon will remove a harmless cyst from his neck. Yet, when he wakes up Small realizes he cannot speak and there is a massive scar running nearly from his jaw to throat. When Small realizes that the surgery was more serious than he was told, the young man goes ballistic. Eventually Small runs away from his unhappy home, finally realizing independence, potential, and happiness.
While Small's story is interesting, I was not particularly fond of this graphic novel. The parents appear so heartless at times that it comes across as frustrating. Meanwhile, Small could have benefited from telling more about his experiences as a runaway and overcoming the pitfalls of his home. Nevertheless, I can imagine many 13-17 year olds enjoying this book more than I did.

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