Source: Publisher for review
Synopsis from the back of the book
Mary’s older sister, Gwen, has royally screwed up her life. Not only is Gwen pregnant at seventeen, but she’s also decided to marry The Creep who knocked her up. Now Mary is powerless to stop her family from imploding. Her parents are freaking out, and to top it off, The Creep has a gross fascination with Mary while Gwen enjoys teasing her to tears for sport. Despite her brother’s advice to shut up, Mary can’t keep her trap closed and manages to piss off Mom so much it comes to blows. Mary doesn’t know what to do, and all her attempts to get help are rejected. When she finally plans her escape, she fails to consider how it could destroy them all.\
I was completely blown away by this book. It is only 108 pages long but boy does it produce an amazing product! As the synopsis says, Mary has a rough family life. Her oldest sister, Gwen, is pregnant and engaged to The Creep. Her parents are very consumed with Gwen's upcoming wedding, pregnancy, and drama filled relationship. Mary ends up being the brunt of everyone's frustration. She is even yelled at for breathing to loud at one point. Her parents and sister are verbally abusive and at times physically abusive towards her. She can never do anything right. She ends up breaking under the pressure and taking some very drastic measures that she hopes will change her life for the better.
As I said this was a very short book, but Tibbets packs a lot into such a short space. I really liked that it got right to the point of the book. There was one part that really got to me. Mary turns up at school with huge welts on the backs of her legs that her mother gave her the night before. Mary's teacher is concerned, like any teacher should be, and asks her about them. When Mary tries to explain what happened her teacher blows her off as being over dramatic. I am a teacher so this really hit home. If I ever saw one of my students with any sort of suspected abuse I would ask an then hear what they have to say. I would NEVER blow off a child. As a teacher you are mandated to report any suspected abuse. It broke my heart that just when Mary thought someone would help her, she gets pushed to the side. That was definitely a part of the book that hit home.
This book was a very quick read. I actually finished it in one day. I suggest this book to everyone! I think it is a book that everyone can relate to and will really open peoples eyes to what goes on behind some peoples closed doors. Thank you Ann for writing such a thought provoking and touching book! I loved it! You can read more about Shut Up and other books at Ann's blog.
*I was sent this book for review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by others.