An Interesting Thought Experiment: Terry Trueman’s Stuck in Neutral (2017 Reading Book #72)

I try to read a lot of disability in literature, especially YA, so I was excited to read this, especially since John Green said it was an important book to him early in his career. However, I was extremely disappointed in this story, if you can even call it a story. It felt much more like a thought experiment to me, obviously inspired by the author’s own disabled son.

The novel was incredibly short, so I was surprised when it ended on a cliffhanger. That felt like a cheap ploy to franchise what could have been a substantial stand-alone as the hundred pages I read didn’t have a whole lot of plot or conflict. They seemed to mostly work to orient you in Shawn’s head and explain the circumstances of his life as well as his family’s dynamics.

I appreciate how this novel causes you to think outside the box and consider the lives of people who are nonverbal and presumed to be intellectually disabled. It’s a really creative perspective, but as a story with conflict that feels complete and thorough, it really falls flat.


In Summary:

Title(s): Stuck In Neutral

Author(s): Terry Trueman

Overall Rating: 2/5

Genre: YA

Category: Fiction

Format Accessed: Paperback

Imprint: HarperTeen

Publisher: HarperCollins

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One Comment

  1. Well Maggie, it’s certainly true that one can’t please everyone. I appreciate you taking the time to read my book and to comment on it. BTW, I had no intention of writing a sequel or series when I wrote Stuck in Neutral. that came later. Maybe you’d like Life Happens Next better…or maybe not. take care and keep reading and thinking for yourself!

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