Developing Minds : ★★★★½☆
First, let’s clear things up, this Stargaze Literary Prize Finalist is not a paranormal story. There’s no “physical” ghost involved. I should say that the ghost in the subtitle is a metaphor for all the things we cannot see, for what’s behind the curtains, hidden. The story is about Luke, and his new South Urban life as a new teacher at the George Washington middle school, an “F school” average in Miami. This novel follows his journey through frustrations, stresses, friendships, relationships and all the challenges that a teacher can encounter.
“Underneath the chaos and terror here was a humanity as powerful and pure as any I could find in any other place on this earth.”
– Luke in Developing Minds
I must say that I was quite impressed with the book. The humor was quite well-done, I found myself laughing out loud and kept on telling my boyfriend : “LOL Read this !” Hahah True Story there, you can even ask him 😉 . Furthermore, there are a lot of interesting facts here and there, and I think that’s one of the things I liked the most about this book. It taught me a lot. Not only about the education system, the steps that a new teacher has to go through but also some did-you-know facts about history, culture and so much more.
As a young adult myself, I find Luke’s personal life so relatable and realist. We learn how to get out of toxic relationships, to be able to move on and to recognize true friends or, simply, the friends that are not good for you anymore. The author puts it in a subtle and smart way.
“It’s never better to suffer through anything in silence […] It’s by remaining quiet that we lose our power. It’s by suffering alone that we suffer together. If you don’t learn how to stand up for yourself, then how can you stand up for anyone else?”
– Santoro in Developing Minds
The character development was rightfully done. It’s about real obstacles and how the protagonist does it to overcome them, how he reaches for help and how he finally sees the mistakes he’s done. Instead of trying to hate everything and give up, he tries to improve and make his life right again.
“The key to progress is compassion. You can’t get started in any direction until you learn compassion for yourself. Lean to love yourself, understand yourself, forgive yourself. And then, you become progress.”
– The Professor in Developping Minds
Finally, the only reason why I gave this book a 4.5 is that it misses the big plot twisting that I love in books, but it covers everything else. And this is a REALLY subjective aspect for rating but it’s just how I rate the ultimate 5 stars, the big plot twisting haha.
I got the chance to receive this book as a free copy from the author himself for an honest review ! Thank you Jonathan LaPoma 🙂 If you’re a book reviewer/blogger and would like to receive a free copy to review, you can contact him here .
The book is set to be released on September 14,2015, don’t miss it !