The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian felt like an absolutely true diary. That’s the first thing I have to say about this book. I love diary reads, they feel so real. This book definitely felt real. I grew to understand Junior, and love his humor. This book definitely had it’s I’m-so-happy-right-now moments, but it also had its I-feel-like-crying-right-now moments. It was a very emotional read, and the emotions even hit me in chapter one. So for my non spoiler review, I give this book 8.5 stars, and recommend it to fans of John Green. If you’re a fan of deep, inspiring contemporaries with unique concepts – than this is definitely recommended!
The Goodreads summary: Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
The spoiler review:
I don’t know about you, but I felt like the disease thing was a little unnecessary. Like we were just adding problems to this kid’s shitty life. I mean, I think his natural anti-socialness would have been enough, but he had to have water in his brain too. I just felt like he had too many issues to feel real. I know that this book is based off of the author’s real life experiences, so I’m not sure if the author actually has this disorder or if he just added it for effect. If he actually had this disorder, kudos to him for pulling off everything in this book. If it isn’t, I don’t love reading about diseases and disorders and to me it just felt like a little much.
Other than that, I loved Junior’s realness. He felt like a real kid. I don’t know if that has anything to do with some of this book being Sherman Alexie’s real life experience, or if it just had to do with his talented writing. Anyway, Junior feels like a real kid struggling with real problems and real poverty and racism that we don’t hear much about. I don’t usually really like these inspiring reads, but since it had become so popular lately I figured I’d give it a try and I’m really glad I did, because this kid really is inspiring and this really is a great read.
I hated his breakup with Rowdy. That made me so sad, considering they were so close. Junior kept trying the book and I was like come on, come on Rowdy! At least they became friends again at the end of the book.
The other thing I have to discuss is the deaths. There aren’t normally so many deaths in contemporaries, so I let my guard down. I didn’t expect there to be THREE deaths. Three. That’s a lot of deaths, and they were all people I really liked. But then he started talking about how many funerals he’s been to on that tiny reservation alone, and you can see that even though this is a contemporary it doesn’t feel like it, because his reality seems to far away from mine. It’s crazy to think people actually live this way, and I’m really glad I read this book. After I read it I looked online, and apparently Native Americans are twice as likely to die in car crashes. I think that’s something people should know.
My favorite scene in the entire book was when he told Penelope he was poor, and she was so nice to him. He was surprised and expected her to be shallow, but then he realized he was looking at her boobs while she was worrying about him and he was the shallow one. I think that’s a really important message, that sometimes we can think other’s are bad and we are good, and then realize things are opposite. Hearing it from such a struggling characters made it all the more inspiring. Overall, I really liked this book, and hoped you did too!