C.G. Drews's Reviews > Rick

Rick by Alex Gino
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, middle-grade, read-2020

This book is just a soft and heartfelt delight! I read George quite a few years ago (I am way overdue for a reread now) and while Melissa makes a cameo, this one can stand on its own. It follows Rick as he starts off Middle School with a few trouble problems in his backpack: he's tired of everyone teasing him about liking girls (or boys) because he...doesn't. His best friend is acting increasingly more a bully which is confusing. And lastly Rick is aware he keeps saying nothing, doing nothing, keeping quiet and passive even though he's having lots of feelings and struggles welling up in his chest.

So what is he going to do about it?

There are just so many elements to love! I adored reading about Rick's slow exploration into the school's Rainbow Spectrum club, his fear of being seen, the closeted anxiety, the do-I-even-belong-here thoughts. When he finds the word "asexual", his family's first response is "well you're too young to know!" which makes him feel small. Rick also develops this epic and soft relationship with his grandpa and I loved how gentle and kind it was. So so positive. I was rooting for him to make friends with Melissa and her friends. Also it was just glorious to see Melissa happy and glowing and living her best life!!

It also unpacks those feelings of realising you're in a toxic friendship, which I think is important to talk about with kids. People change, sometimes not for the better. Learning to stand up for yourself and your beliefs is HARD. I'm just so proud of Rick right now.

Basically this book is a pocketful of excellent and I highly recommend everything Alex Gino writes. The style is easy, engaging, and you just love watching Rick blossom into a person he can be proud of.
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Reading Progress

November 7, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
November 7, 2019 – Shelved
June 8, 2020 – Started Reading
June 9, 2020 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 9, 2020 – Shelved as: middle-grade
June 9, 2020 – Shelved as: read-2020
June 9, 2020 – Finished Reading

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