Stuff for the Teen Age
Summer Reading Favorites: Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
James Sveck doesn't like to talk to people. This makes his parents concerned.
The thing is, it's not that James doesn't like speaking; it's just that he doesn't feel that verbal language accurately expresses his thoughts. His parents decide to send him to therapy. It is there that James is confronted with either having to convey himself through words or sitting in abject silence for the entire hour. While his therapist tries to navigate her way through James's tricky wordplay, the pair begins to narrow in on a mysterious event in his life that happened last year in Washington D.C. on a boring class trip... and why that particular event has made James so misanthropic and depressed in the here and now.
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron is a delightful summer read for teens. The title appears on the suggested young adult summer reading list. Taking place in the fast-paced world of New York City, James Sveck draws you into his reclusive world. From his outgoing (and crazy) mother to his pseudo-intellectual sister to his absentee father... it's easy to see why James might not like most of the people in his world. While he does have a great relationship with his grandmother who lives upstate, the only other person he seems to like is the older man that manages his mother's art gallery. When he makes a somewhat misguided attempt to insinuate himself in that young man's life, he pretty much ruins everything with him, and realizes he's lost one of the only friends he'd ever had. James shines in his therapy sessions where his therapist manages to defeat him more than once at his precise game of word use.