Author: Terry Trueman
Pages: 149 p.
I read Stuck in Neutral many years ago, but just re-read it for my middle school book group. I remember the book having a big impact on me the first time I read it, but reading it while being pregnant was even more of an emotional experience. I continued on with Cruise Control hoping I would get some sort of closure. Cruise Control is set in the same time period at Stuck in Neutral but it's told from older brother Paul's point of view. Some of the events from SIN are mirrored in CC and it gives a more complete picture of the McDaniel family home life. Paul is a loving brother, even if he can't express it, and his difficulties of being a sibling to a "vegetable" are realistically portrayed. This is NOT a sequel. It's not necessary to have read SIN first, but the experience of reading CC is so much more complete and meaningful when you have read SIN.
I was hoping for closure--for some clue as to what the father was going to do with Shawn (the developmentally disabled "vegetable") but Trueman doesn't give it up. Once again the ending can be interpreted in more than one way. People who are more positive are given a glimmer of hope that maybe Shawn and Paul's Dad will be interrupted and rethink his plan (to end his child's suffering). Those who aren't quite so positive can see it the opposite way--that Paul will be too late.
CC is not quite as strong as SIN but that's just because it's told from a different point of view. I shouldn't say it's not as strong. It's not as painfully moving as SIN was, but it's still a great book.
(side note--I finally got approved for the new blogger, so now I have labels! woo-hoo!)
Reading: Nothing yet
On My Nightstand: Saline Spray and tissues