I received this book for free from Merit Press, Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 14 years of age due to its use of language, mental illness, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
{The Namesake: Steven Parlato}The Namesake by Steven Parlato
Published by Merit Press, Simon Pulse on December 18, 2012
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Merit Press, Simon Pulse
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{Synopsis} – Gifted artist? Standout student?

All his teachers are sure certain that Evan Galloway can be the graduate who brings glory to small, ordinary St. Sebastian's School.

As for Evan, however, he can't be bothered anymore.

Since the shock of his young father's suicide last spring, Evan no longer cares about the future. In fact, he believes that he spent the first fifteen years of his life living a lie. Despite his mother's encouragement and the steadfast companionship of his best friend, Alexis, Evan is mired in rage and bitterness. Good memories seem ludicrous when the present holds no hope.

Then Evan's grandmother hands him the key–literally, a key–to a locked trunk that his father hid when he was the same age as Evan is now. Digging into the trunk and the small-town secrets it uncovers, Evan can begin to face who his father really was, and why even the love of his son could not save him.

In a voice that resonates with the authenticity of grief, Steven Parlato tells a different kind of coming-of-age story, about a boy thrust into adulthood too soon, through the corridor of shame, disbelief, and finally…compassion.

{My Thoughts} – I had an extremely difficult time getting involved in this book. It came down to I finished it because I wanted to know why? Why some people are capable of making the choices the make in life? Why some people can make such permanent choices?

Evan is your average teenage boy that attends a Catholic school. He is attending the same school his father had when he was a young boy. This whole book is revolved around Evan’s desire to better understand his father and his family. His desire the have the answers to questions that have been bothering him. He ends of doing many of the same things that his father had at his age and that starts to worry his family.

I think if there is really any way to go on a self discovery, whilst still trying to learn about one’s family, that Evan did it to the best of his ability. He had a lot of roadblocks in his way, many people didn’t want to tell him things he needed to know. He had his own source of information as well and some of that was a bit much even for him to handle. When you think about knowing what Evan’s father had went through and you think about being in Evan’s shoes, it makes you really feel happy that your childhood wasn’t nearly as twisted or as bad as what other’s may deal with on a regular basis.

I realize that not everyone had the best childhood memories, I know I don’t, but I also know that they could be much worse then they are. I have to say this story turned out to be a really thought provoking read. It was better then I had expected it to be once the story had picked up more in the 100 page area mark. It was worth the read however, twisted and it really touches base on many of the issues that children/teenagers deal with on a regular basis in their lives. I believe the author did a wonderful job in writing such a thought provoking book. This is one that would work wonderful for a book club/discussion group setting, because believe me there is a lot in it I’d love to discuss.

If you’d like to learn more about Evan and his trip through self discovery and trying to learn more about his family. You should probably read this book, there is a lot of big life altering events that take place within it’s pages.

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.