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The Namesake

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  402 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Gifted artist? Standout student?

All his teachers are sure certain that Evan Galloway can be the graduate who brings glory to small, ordinary St. Sebastian's School.

As for Evan, however, he can't be bothered anymore.

Since the shock of his young father's suicide last spring, Evan no longer cares about the future. In fact, he believes that he spent the first fifteen years
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 18th 2013 by Merit Press (first published December 18th 2012)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  402 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: age 14-adults
Spoiler: I knew this book addressed the issue of molestation by a priest at a Catholic school. I was afraid it would ruin the book, but it didn't. I'm not going to give any other spoilers in this review and I want to address only two issues: 1. violence and 2. the Christian religion and church.

1. First let me tell you something about me as a reader. I'm extremely visual and cannot read anything graphic in violence or sex. As a writer I'm of the old school that believes sex and violence in chil
Michael Araujo
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
Easter morning. Evan Galloway and his mother spend time in church for the holy day. Thoughts of happiness and the feeling of being blessed surrounds the room in a shroud of light. Not far from the church, at Evans grandparent’s house, his father hangs off a rope from the attic beams. Evan is in his third year at St. Sebastian’s Catholic High School, and not only does he need to worry about graduating at sixteen and choosing a college to attend, he’s troubled by the thoughts and questions of why ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Namesake is one of the finest work, i'd recently came across. It delves into powerful topic like "abuse". One thing that I would like to commend here is that the after effects and the realism with which suicide takes place was absolutely shattering and emotional. It left Evan devastated and confused. In search of the truth, how far Evan goes and eventually where he ended up, just like his father.
Steven’s novel is a stimulating book for readers who love contemporary fiction that touches on risky
Gina (My Precious Blog)
Initial Thoughts:

Evan is angry, really angry at his father for taking his own life. He doesn't understand why the guy would do something that drastic and not even leave a note explaining why? Evan is sure his father must not have cared much about him because if he did why would he leave him in such a horrific way. So, Evan vows to go on a quest for answers. He just MUST know the motives behind his father's suicide. Along the way he is warned by many "there are worse things than not knowing", but
Article first published as Book Review: The Namesake by Steven Parlato on Blogcritics.

Review also appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Steven Parlato’s The Namesake is an emotionally stimulating young adult novel that delves into the powerful topic of abuse. Using dry wit, incredible similes and metaphors, and a very thought-provoking storyline, Parlato introduces the reader to an original and unforgiving exploration of the teenage psyche.

Faith Hough
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
Much has been said already about the depth of Steven Parlato's character development and the strength of his writing—I second it all. But as a Catholic, I'd like to approach this review from a different angle. If you haven't read the other reviews, I'll let you know upfront that The Namesake is a book which deals with sexual abuse of a child by a Catholic priest, and is what I call a very “gritty” book. There is a good bit of language, a steady stream of mature issues (on top of more than one ca ...more
Terry Laslo
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Namesake is a powerful book - especially since the protagonist, Evan, is a teenager, who is dealing with suicide of a parent, sexual abuse, bullying, first loves, family, faith, and forgiveness. Not always easy to read but impossible to put down.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Several months ago Evan's father, Evan Sr., committed suicide. Lost and confused Junior's grandmother gives him a key to a chest of his father's childhood things which hold the secrets to his life and death.

Secrets and lies. THE NAMESAKES is a story about family, what we know wish we knew, what we know and pretend not to know. Some families confront difficulties head on, others never speak of horrible events. Most are somewhere in between. THE NAMESAKE is one of those books that starts
C. McKenzie
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nothing is as devastating as the loss of a parent, but when a parent takes his own life, that devastation is multiplied to unendurable. For Evan Galloway, his father's suicide plunges him into sorrow, anger and confusion, and then ultimately forces him to seek answers to questions that appear just about everywhere. Follow a modern Holden Caulfield on his quest as he rummages through family secrets, old friendships and betrayals, into the darkest secrets of a church and its failure to protect the ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Parlato approaches these delicate (and also taboo) subjects with ease, care and grace and seamlessly weaves the story of teenaged Evan in pursuit of his knowledge for the truth behind his father's suicide. This tale uncovers several emotional aspects for various characters throughout the storyline and exposes vulnerabilities and ultimately, truth and understanding of self and the world around them. Carefully created, this story is not an "easy" read to escape the sometimes harsh realities of the ...more
Kym Brunner
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved so many things about this book (and it's NOT b/c he's a fellow Merit Press author). The voice was amazing and the story kept me guessing. The characters felt authentic and I enjoyed getting to know them. Being Catholic myself and having gone to Catholic grade school and high school, there were so many quiet nuances that resonated so well with me.

Excellent job, Steve!
Paula  from Reading Lark
This review is challenging to write, since my thoughts on this book are at war with themselves. There are bits that I really enjoyed, yet several things that bothered me.

There were times when reading this book felt like a bit of a wild goose chase. Some choices made by the author seemed to lack purpose; for example, the hero is in the Talented and Gifted program, and is set to graduate at age 16, yet I was not able to find a particular reason that this was necessary for either plot or character
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and I think the author deserves a lot of credit for addressing the topics he did, and doing so with calculation, direction and without judgement.

The given description of the novel is straightforward so the reader has a good idea of what might be in this book before reading. The premise is that Evan is trying to piece together what terrible event or events in his father's life caused him to commit suicide despite having a family and loved ones. It is mainly Evan's task to uncove
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This coming-of-age tale pulls no punches when it comes to spearing heavy topics. Suicide, religion, sexual abuse, loss, bullying and grief are just some of the issues faced in The Namesake. Certainly, Parlato isn't the first author to tackle sensitive coming-of-age topics, but what makes this novel so unique is the voice of the main character, Evan. From the very first paragraph there is an authentic, genuine and remarkably reliable voice established. It takes hold of the story and owns it to th ...more
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reading THE NAMESAKE was an emotional experience. I had to read it bit by bit over a couple of weeks, lest I be overwhelmed. Evan Galloway is haunted by his father's suicide, and the more he discovers about his father's secrets the worse it gets.

Evan was named for his father, although their middle names are different and he isn't a true Junior. He looks like his father, aside from his ears. He attends the same Catholic school his father did. He's interested in art too, although he prefers writin
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Evan has a great talent as an artist. His teachers are encouraging him to pursue his talent. Evan has to write an essay. So he decides to write it based on his father. Evan’s father took his own life when he and his mother were attending Mass on Easter. Evan does not really know his father, so he decides that the essay will be a good way to get to find out who he really was. As Evan digs into his father’s past, he learns some dark secrets. Ones that the town would like to keep hidden.

To be hone
Karen DelleCava
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
15 year old Evan Galloway is on a quest to find the reason behind his father’s suicide. Evan walks the high school halls of St. Sebastian, the same as his father did at the same age which for me, made the unraveling of this mystery that much more haunting and disturbing.

Steven Parlato masterfully drew me into the terrifying, brutal manipulation of an innocent boy through Evan’s discoveries which left me heartsick. The supporting characters, Evan’s family, teachers and his employer were all flaw
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I must reread this book again.
The details aren't as clear as I want them to be, so I cannot make a proper review.

But what I can say right now is that the story is a silent masterpiece.

The narrative was captivating yet as the story progressed a despondent state is sure to linger. The back story and present storyline were sad.

I felt for the Dad.

I felt his feelings.

I felt disappointment and regret for the circumstances presented since it is possible today.

I was even more so affected since I am
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The story kept me intrigued and curious, sometimes anxious, but it did what any author would hope for. It made me want to keep reading and now that I have finished I have that empty feeling that only happens when you are drawn into the lives of the characters as they somehow become a part of you. The emotions this book brings forth are incredible. It deals with such fragile real life issues of sexual abuse, suicide, friendship, family and faith and how it all intertwines and does so with the utm ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
Heartbreaking. Hard to deal with. But fantastic. You won't regret reading this book.

Parlato doesn't shy away from the subject of rape and sexual abuse. So if those topics make you squeamish, don't read it. But if you can hang on for the ending, you will come to love this book. Evan will find a place in your heart quickly.

I loved the way this book was wrote. I love how every little new start is in bold. Very different from the normal. My eyes on the verge of bleeding. One of my most favorite imag
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I love this book! It’s so intense and soul touching. It’s a page turner full of secrets to discover.

My attention was kept from beginning till the last page. I found myself crying, laughing, praying, thinking & wanting to read more.

This story is about suicide, molestation, sins, forgiveness, discovering hurting ugly secrets, everything through the vision of a fifteen year boy whose father killed himself apparently without a reason.

For Evan it’s not easy to face his father’s past, nor to re
Missy Guay
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really don't care all that much for books narrated by teens, which is maybe why I struggled through the first couple of chapters of this book, BUT, I'm glad that I pushed myself to finish this book. It was tough, there are a lot of really hard subjects going on in this book. It's sad, heartbreakingly sad, but at the same time it is beautiful. The emotional roller coaster that Even takes you on through this whole book, it's real. There wasn't any sugar coating involved, the author did not try t ...more
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully written and very engaging. It was impossible to put down the book. Evan and the other characters in the book were very real in their emotions. Parlato deals with the tough subject matter of the passing of Evan's father and the reasons why with great care and sensitivity. ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
the topic is not one I'd gravitate towards--Catholic schools, sexual abuse, suicide--yet the main character, Evan, is totally believable and sympathetic and handles his journey with grace, which makes the book worth reading. ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
After a slow start. This book became a compulsion. I needed to follow Evan on his journey. Parlato is a great storyteller.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this book and could not wait to get into the car to see what happened next.
Matthew Sheeler
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author of this book, The Namesake, is Steven Parlato. He is a writer, teacher, and illustrator. Parlato has only written and published 2 books. The namesake and The Precious Dreadful: A Novel. He won the 3rd place in Children's Literature poetry society in 2007 with one of his poems, “Her Absence Shows”. He is also the winner of the 2011 Tassy Walden Award for New Voices in Children's Literature. I want to read his other book that he wrote and see if it connects to “The Namesake”. I think th ...more
I went back and forth a lot with this book. I don't think it's a bad book, and at times I was pretty spellbound by it, but there were things with which I just couldn't connect. More complete review to come.

Full review:

I've been chewing over this book for days, trying to figure out how I felt about it. It was a strange mixture of strong, poignant moments that were so well-written I could feel them in my gut, and a list of annoyances that seemed to compound more as the story progressed, ultimately
Kathy Cunningham
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Steven Parlato’s THE NAMESAKE is a gut-wrenching coming-of-age tale that explores the innermost realms of human suffering. Fifteen-year-old Evan Galloway, geeky brainiac from Saint Sebastian’s Catholic High School, is struggling in the aftermath of his father’s shocking suicide. Why did Evan Senior hang himself in his parents’ attic on Easter Sunday? Did it have anything to do with Evan Junior? And what is the real connection between the two Evans? They shared the same name, almost the same birt ...more
A Book Vacation
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
To see my full review:

This is one of those books that started out a bit slowly for me, and I was nervous that I wasn’t going to like it. Luckily, though the beginning was a little rough and a tad boring, making it hard for me to initially connect with the characters, it started to get better around the 20% mark. Up until this point, Evan is mainly just wallowing away in his pain, and rightfully so, but it wasn’t until the mystery began to come to the foref
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Steven Parlato, Assistant Professor of English, a writer and artist, lives in CT with his wife and two children. Holding a Masters from Wesleyan University, Steve has taught graphic design, writing, and a literature course of his own design, Studies in Young Adult Fiction. In 2012, Steve was recognized with a NISOD Excellence Award in Teaching.

A prize-winning poet, Parlato's work appears in Fresh

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