Book: Confessions of a Blabbermouth

Confessions of a Blabbermouth
Mike Carey and Louise Carey
illustrated by Aaron Alexovich
2007 (Minx/DC Comics)

Warning: This is a very spoiler-heavy post, so if you haven’t read this book and don’t want anything spoiled for you, you might want to read it before reading this.

Every parent wants the best for their children, but sometimes things don’t work out quite the way they intend. Chloe’s father in Confessions of a Blabbermouth has big dreams for his daughter, but her wishes and limitations aren’t even factors as far as he’s concerned. The problem is that her limitations are pretty big, especially since he’s just circumventing and ignoring them rather than helping her work on them. He also never even really asked if she wanted for herself what he wanted for her.

Chloe has dyslexia and writing is hard for her, but her father has decided that she will follow his footsteps and become a writer. To this end, he gets her a position writing a regular newspaper column. When she is unable to write to his standards right away, he simply writes her columns for her. It’s not even like he’s taking her ideas and writing them out nicely, the columns are his words, ideas and phrases with her name at the top. She gets absolutely no input at all. Sometimes she doesn’t even get to read the column before it gets published.

Chloe is not dumb and she’s not overly passive. She’s simply been told her whole life that she couldn’t do something and, while she doesn’t believe it (which is greatly to her credit), she has no idea that she even can change things until a friend helps her out just a little. This story is written brilliantly. It’s from an outsider’s point of view, but Chloe is never, ever portrayed as anything but a bright young woman as capable of charting her own destiny as anyone else. That is probably the biggest reason that I admired this book. Tasha may be the narrator, but it’s Chloe who is the heroine.

Dyslexia is very common in real life (it’s estimated that 15% of the American population has some form of it), but is rarely seen specifically in fiction. This portrayal was brilliant. It gave us a fully-realized character who may have a learning disability, but isn’t unduly hampered by it. She doesn’t proclaim it to the world, but neither does she hide it when it comes down to it. She is honest about the frustrations it causes her and she finds ways to work around and through it. She’s managing just fine. Her problem isn’t Dyslexia, it’s a father who can’t accept his daughter the way she is (and what teenagers, even those without Dyslexia, write perfectly right from the start anyway?). This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it!

- Publisher’s Description

- Mike Carey’s Website
- Aaron Alexovich’s Website

- Buy it from Amazon

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