Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law... read more
Marcelo is a 17 year old boy who is very calm and kind of socially awkward because he has a unique disorder similar to Asperger's Syndrome. Marcelo is special because he is religious so he memorizes a lot of scripture and the numbers of all the chapters and verses. He is constantly thinking... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Marcelo is a 17 year old boy who is very calm and kind of socially awkward because he has a unique disorder similar to Asperger's Syndrome. Marcelo is special because he is religious so he memorizes a lot of scripture and the numbers of all the chapters and verses. He is constantly thinking critically about things having to do with reactions to questions to where he should put his arms or hands. The whole book is inside his thoughts, and he thinks about a lot of things that "normal" people don't really think about. Also, when he was younger, he would just be able to stop and hear music that he called internal music (IM). But as he got older, it became harder and harder to hear it. His relationship with Jasmine (colleague) becomes stronger and they become good friends. She helps him to hear his IM in the end from her music appreciation and her friendship. He even goes on a trip with her to her hometown in Vermont. She invited him to go so he could think about the many decisions he wanted to make.
He went to a special school where he gets a lot of help and he really enjoys going there because it’s in his comfort zone. His father thinks of Marcelo as if nothing is wrong with him, so for his senior year, his father, Arturo, believes that he would do just fine at the local school, Oak Ridge High. Of course, this is the last thing Marcello wants to do because he feels so comfortable and at home at Paterson (the special school). In order for Marcelo to react with others more naturally and get used to the real world, his father has him work at his law firm over the summer. Marcelo was really nervous but he’s put to work. He was slower than other workers because he thought about everything so much. His boss was Jasmine, and over the summer they became pretty close. Meanwhile, at the law firm, there was drama and Marcelo was forced to make decisions he was not comfortable with because he had to know what would be the right thing to do. (Or as he put it: If the note is wrong it’s wrong, and if it sounds right it’s right.)
There was a case at the law firm about a girl who was in a car crash and the windshields injured the girl's face severely. The windshields were supposed to shatter in to a bunch of tiny harmless pieces, but this was not the case. Marcelo found a picture of the injured girl while working in the mail room and it struck him emotionally and he really felt like he needed to help her. He ended up getting help from Jasmine and others to help find her and see her. His meeting with her at the end helped him to realize that even though that girl (Ixtel) hated living in the social services house, it grew on her little by little until she loved it. This came across to him to decide for it to be a good decision to go to Oak Ridge. So, over the whole summer, Marcelo came to realize that he has much more potential than he thought and he really can be challenged to play a part in the real world.
“The deep blue of the sky reminds me of the word azure--like Jasmine’s eyes.”Marcelo
“Routine. Whenever I hear that word I think of a route that is not a full route, only a tiny route.”Marcelo
“For all the pain I saw at Paterson, it is nothing compared to the pain that people inflict upon each other in the real world. All I can think of now is that it is not right for me to be unaware of that pain, including the pain that I inflict on others.”Marcelo
“It is a messy business, this trying to figure out what His will is. It is messy and painful and certainly never clear. But deep at the bottom of our conflicting desires and confusions there is the sense of what is right and what is wrong. What else can we do but trust and hope in this sense? What else can but trust that He is at the source of what we feel and hope He is at the end of what we want to do? Trust the sense you have that you are traveling the right direction because, when it comes down to it, that and the ability to tell the difference between a dried-up fig and a pomegranate is all you have.”Rabbi Heschel
All I can think of now is that it is not right for me to be unaware of that pain, including the pain that I inflict on others. Only how is it possible to live without being either numb to it or overwhelmed by it?Highlighted by 29 Kindle customers
But deep at the bottom of our conflicting desires and confusions there is the sense of what is right and what is wrong.Highlighted by 26 Kindle customers
“‘Cognitive disorder’ is not an accurate description of what happens inside Marcelo’s head. ‘Excessive attempt at cognitive order’ is closer to what actually takes place.”Highlighted by 23 Kindle customers
“The right note sounds right and the wrong note sounds wrong.”Highlighted by 20 Kindle customers
In some way, the strange-looking streets are simply a reflection of my thoughts. It seems perfectly natural to be lost outside when that’s the way I am inside. No landmarks anywhere.Highlighted by 16 Kindle customers
‘What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’”Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
“Our effort is but a counterpoint in the music of His will.” “What if we don’t hear the music?” I say. “That’s what faith is, isn’t it? Following the music when we don’t hear it.”Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
Maybe the right action is a lake like this one, green and quiet and deep.Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
“Be in the world but not of the world.” The words are from Jesus. But I have not the slightest idea how to accomplish that or even if it’s possible. The world will always poke you in the chest with its index finger.Highlighted by 11 Kindle customers
Faithful. Faith-full. Full-of-faith. If the letter comes, will it help Arturo and Aurora remain faithful to each other if I am full of faith? My father. Are your ugly parts any uglier than mine?Highlighted by 6 Kindle customers
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