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Book Review: How To Be Me by Cath Howe




Synopsis:


'Lucas is all alone.

Since his mum died, Lucas and his dad don't seem to understand each other at all. And Lucas is dreading the summer drama club that his dad has signed him up for. But the people Lucas meets at the club force him to open up and start talking. Can his new-found friends teach Lucas how to be himself?'


Review:


How to be me is about a boy name Lucas and his dad, who are struggling to be a family after the loss of Lucas' mother three years ago. Dad wants Lucas to be cheerful and make lots of friends, but struggles to understand that he cannot 'fix' Lucas' introversion with a couple of piano lessons. Lucas is feeling extremely lonely and feels like Vanessa, dad's girlfriend, is replacing his mother but is weary of expressing himself in case he annoys and disappoints his father. This huge lack of communication between father and son leads to a lot of bottled-up emotions on either end, but thankfully Lucas is able to find solace in his new drama group friends.


Lucas is not only grieving his mother but the loss of his relationship with his father, and the old friends he had before his mother got sick. He does not feel like he fits in and can do nothing to please his father, but learns that by being vulnerable with people (no matter how uncomfortable it may be) that he has more in common with others than he once believed, and that he can enjoy life again.


In the midst of dealing with an excessive amount of work that has recently been put upon him, Lucas' father realises he has been emotionally neglecting Lucas and that his outbursts may have more to do with the loss of Lucas' mother than his father first thought. By the end of the book Lucas' father manages to be vulnerable with Lucas about his own grief and shows him he isn't this scary, angry man who is always disappointed in him. Behind his frustration he is just tired and mournful, doing his best to let go of his grief and enjoy his life. This book would be a fantastic read for anyone dealing with grief, shyness, anxiety or anyone who feels misunderstood.

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