Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

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One thing that is certain about life is that we will lose loved ones. However despite this fact when we do lose someone there is always a mourning period of some sort. This is the premise of this great novel for young adults written by Jason Reynolds.

We meet a young man called Matt grieving after the loss of his mom. Matt was an only child and was very close to his mom so of course he takes her loss very hard. His dad, grieving himself doesn't quite know how to communicate with Matt. Then Matt gets a job at a local funeral parlor and finds that wearing the black suit is comforting...so he begins to wear it all the time.

Though he is grieving, Matt never really lets it out and continues life as usual, going through the motions more than anything else and hanging out with his best friend Chris. Matt does develops a strange obsession though, at the funerals he attends he starts searching out the faces to find the one person who is really, truly sad. This is comforting for him and he develops an eerie sense of who this person is. Then at one funeral he meets someone who will change his life and help him to deal.

Reynolds takes a tough subject but adds enough humorous touches here and there so as to not make the book totally depressing. In fact as we read the book we discover people who are grieving for many things and who have never really gotten over their grief but who make an effort day after day. This, I think is an excellent lesson indeed. I highly recommend this book.

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