Saturday, June 24, 2017
Mean Little People by Paige Dearth book thoughts
Title: Mean Little People
Author: Paige Dearth
Published Date: April 9th, 2017
Publisher: Fiction with Meaning, LLC
# of Pages: 466
Genre: Realistic Horror/Child Abuse/Neglect/Bullying
Days to Read: 5
Rating: 5 stars
Would I recommend it?: Yes
Would I read more books by this Author?: Yes
My Social Media: Goodreads/Instagram/Twitter
Seven year old Tony has one choice...to live or to die.
Tony Bruno just wants to fit in, but the bullies at his school are cruel and relentless. At home, he leans on his mother Teresa for strength and comfort, but she’s no match for his father, Carmen. His father, a fighter and bully himself, hates Tony. He is embarrassed by the child for not fighting back and wishes that Tony was never born.
Then as a teen, in one act of blind courage, Tony fights back shifting the balance of power with his peers. Even after Tony sets things straight with the neighborhood boys, his father continues to terrorize him.
At school, Tony is now respected by his classmates. One day he stands up for a bullied kid named, Salvatore, and the boys become friends. One night, Salvatore commits a horrific crime and Tony suffers the consequences of his friends’ actions. Tony’s punishment changes the course of his life.
All alone and nowhere to call home, Tony sets out to find the life he longs for, one filled with love and acceptance. But nothing comes easily for him, and he is forced to draw upon strength from deep within to survive.
From the dark world he lives in, Tony does unimaginable things to leave his unwanted life behind.
Mean Little People is a haunting story of one bullied child deprived of love and taunted by corrupt individuals along his journey. Tony’s story will make you question the balance between good and evil.
I wanted to run away, screaming in terror from this story so many times while reading it. It is the most difficult book to get through as well as review I have ever read. Nothing could have prepared me for this story and the horrors that awaited me within it. I can't even write this review without crying.
Tony was bullied at school as well as at home by his father. At just 13 years old he paid the price for a crime he didn't commit. He went to juvenile detention, where the adults are supposed to protect and help the kids there to do better, but instead that often isn't the case at all. Adults who should know better can be the biggest monsters of all. His father threw him out on the streets at 13 and his life just keeps getting worse from there. Are there some happy moments? Sure, but don't get used to them. When you think it couldn't possibly get worse, it does. When you think it couldn't get more heart-breaking, it will.
This story is horrific...but it's entirely realistic, which just adds to the horror. Real people live with these horrors. Real people go through this crap. It's a world gone wrong. A little love and caring could have gone a long way. It's about a boy abused and neglected at every turn, just trying to survive and in order to just survive he ends up having to do horrible things. This book takes you on his journey, through all the crap life throws at him, through all his feelings and thoughts. It made me feel so much for him, to cry so many ugly tears. And even typing this they keep coming...it's been nearly a day since I finished the story before writing this up, and I can't stop crying or thinking about it. I know this story will stay with me, and I will never look at anyone the same way again. You never know what they've been through to get to where they are today.
I get why this book is written the way it is, to tear your heart to shreds. It contains a very important message on bullying and where it can lead. How it CAN stop, these horrors don't need to happen. But it won't stop unless we look these stories in the eyes and take them in. Stories like this need to be told and listened to, no matter how hard it is. Because of how hard it is. If it's this hard to read it, imagine the kids living it.
Stuff that you might worry about while reading does get challenged and tackled in the book. It tackles so many things. And stuff is obviously ment to cause horror, to not be agreed with. I can see why it was written that way, if it wasn't the impact and meaning might be lost.
Tony gets PTSD from stuff he goes through, anyone that lives the life he did would. His nightmares, the way it affects daily life things, the feelings and shame he has from it all are talked about. As someone with PTSD I related so much. I related to several things in this story actually as well seeing stuff in it that i've seen in real life. I loved the way it handled Tony's PTSD. It talked about how it affected him. Kate, who if you read you will meet in the story, helps him through it. Nothing may ever be perfect but it talks about ways to help those with PTSD in a realistic way.
Themes include everything from bullying, abuse, rape (and when do you ever see a boy getting raped talked about or cared about? In fiction or real life, it's something that needs to be mentioned), love, kindness, sexism, toxic masculinity. To not be so quick to judge others, you never know their life story. The balance between good and evil. How a little kindness and love can mean a lot and even make a world of difference.
The author has been a victim of abuse herself, and hopes that awareness through fiction can help create prevention. (Taken from her Goodreads profile, hope that's ok, please check it out Here).
There is so much more I want to say but don't know how to say it or don't want to spoil the story. It's something you just have to experience for yourself. Read it when you are in a good headspace and keep the tissues close.
TW: Bullying, Abuse, Neglect, Violence, Rape, Murder, Depression, PTSD, homophobia, fatphobia, fire