Sign Language by Amy Ackley
Page Count(Hardcover Edition): 392 pgs.
Publisher: Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group
Released: August 18th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4.5/5
Date Started: July 8th, 2012
Date Finished:July 9th, 2012
Twelve-year-old Abby North's first hint that something is really wrong with her dad is how long it's taking him to recover from what she thought was routine surgery. Soon, the thing she calls "It" has a real name: cancer. Before, her biggest concerns were her annoying brother, the crush unaware of her existence, and her changing feelings for her best friend, Spence, the boy across the street. Now, her mother cries in the shower, her father is exhausted, and nothing is normal anymore. Amy Ackley's impressive debut is wrenching, heartbreaking, and utterly true.
Sign Language is a book that made me want to cry, shout about and be happy. I never usually get that many emotions in one book. This book shows the brave perspective of 12 year old Abby North, who really grows as she deals with her father's illness.
Amy Ackley breached a serious topic with young adult and she did very, very well. Cancer, I think, is very easy to mess up when writing about. There are so many little things that you can't forget. Amy displayed all of them in a nice manner surrounding young adult.
The characters added the real emotion to this book. Abby's mother annoyed me a bit though. I knew it was hard for her, but what about Josh and Abby? All she seemed to do was cry and not really try and fix anything until the end. Abby ended up holding in all of her emotion because her mother never wanted to talk about her father. Josh was like that too until he broke down near the end. I guess every character had something that annoyed me. Josh acted as if nothing was wrong with his family and sometimes got drunk to get rid of it. Abby wouldn't face her problems with her father and Spence. Yeah, Spence was one of her big problems. Abby kept pushing him away, and she was afraid after every time she did that, he wanted less and less too do with her. She wanted to have something deeper in her relationship with him, but she had three things holding her back : her father yelling at her for hanging out with him in a bedroom, the fact that she thought it would change a lot of things and how she had a crush on the biggest jerk in town Logan Pierce. Fortunately, the ending was near perfect, and brought all of the imperfections to almost nothing.
I guess with the story, I was wondering what was going to happen after Abby's father. The story seemed to struggle on, but the reasoning was perfect, as I realize now. Amy wanted every single person who was reading this book to see how Abby dealt with her life after. I mean, were talking 3 years after. I loved how she didn't try to rush it, but adding the most important details. I think Abby reacted a little abnormal as to what I probably would have (including breaking down a lot, being depressed and a whole lot of crying), but who can blame her? She didn't cry so what else?
It seems like I'm just nagging on this book, but really, I loved this book. It just had a lot of emotion that I had to talk about. Sign Language reminds me of The Sister's Keepers a bit. I fully recommend Sign Language to anyone who likes Realistic Fiction in teen YA.