Do you know that feeling of having nothing to read despite having a lot of books on your TBR? Then you pick up a book, start reading it, and then thinking… whoa. I need to read more. This book is something.
Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets gave me that feeling.
Again, in lieu with my Fangirl Corner, I have decided to give light to some YA books narrated by a male protagonist. Mostly contemporaries.
Title: Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets
Author: Evan Roskos
Genre: Young Adult- Contemporary
Year Published: March 5th 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself.”
Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant.
Based on my everyday stalking and book hunting, this book is under the radar. I saw it on a list that I really want to link but I can’t seem to find it anymore. But the book was in that list and the short description in that site that recommended YA books made me want to read it. The book is so under the radar that our local bookstores don’t seem to have it… Or at least in the ones I visited in. I still haven’t checked “The Big One”.
I would not give any bad comments on this book because it did get me out of a reading slump. But if I am to have no bias, it kept me hanging. I was waiting for something but it came out late and by then the book was done.
But this book is special. I just know of it. I felt it when I was reading it. Please do not discourage yourself from reading it. Not too many people know of this book, sure. It may have sounded like a rip-off of another book with boys of psychological issues. It is yet another book just creeping in the background but it really is a worth-it read.
Quite contrary to my point, I adored James Whitman. Sure he needs therapy but I think it’s just to reassure him that everything is fine. Since he’s having a problem with role models, he goes to Walt Whitman. The yawps did not even annoy me. And his sessions with Dr. Bird is just so… interesting. It’s like having therapy but with yourself. Aye James, how are you hanging in there next to Charlie, Jeff and Craig?
I am also wondering about his sister Jodie. I mean, she sounds like the perfect daughter. But what happened to her? Are their parents that bad or something? Even though life sounded tough for her, she seems to do pretty well. Says enough of what kind of person she is. I admire Jodie in general.
One of Narrative’s Best New Writers, Evan Roskos’s fiction has appeared in Granta’s New Voices online feature, as well as in Story Quarterly, The Hummingbird Review, andBestFiction. He earned an MFA from Rutgers University — Newark and teaches literature and writing courses for Rowan University and Rutgers University — Camden. His debut novel Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was published in March 2013 and was optioned by Kreate Films producer Shona Tuckman. Evan lives in NJ with his wife and son.
I hope this man writes more books. And I love the fact that he had so much fun while writing this book. That, is how authors should feel while they are in the process of writing.
Overall, the book has ups and downs. Mostly ups, and the rest exquisitely written. I hope you guys find this underrated book peculiarly interesting and add it in your TBR’s.
And I would gladly read it over and over again.
That’s it folks. Another book review done. Comment below if you think you found another hidden gem. Till next time, or later, since I’m really psyched.