Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Damaged Book Review

Damaged by Lisa Scottoline

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Ten-year-old Patrick O'Brien is a natural target at school. Shy, dyslexic, and small for his age, he tries to hide his first-grade reading level from everyone: from his classmates, from the grandfather who cares for him, and from the teachers who are supposed to help him. But the real trouble begins when Patrick is accused of attacking a school aide. The aide promptly quits and sues the boy, his family, and the school district. Patrick's grandfather turns to the law firm of Rosato and DiNunzio for help and Mary DiNunzio is on the case. Soon Mary becomes Patrick's true champion and his only hope for security and justice. But there is more to the story than meets the eye and Patrick might be more troubled than he seems. With twists at every turn and secrets about the family coming to light, Mary DiNunzio might have found the case that can make her a true protector, or break her heart.

Review by Brittany:

I requested this book off of NetGalley because I'm a long-standing fan of Scottoline. I love the humorous way in which she writes all of her lawyer ladies, and I love the way she writes about the cases so that I feel like I know what's going on. 

This book deals with both the education system and family court for a boy who ends up orphaned in the book. As someone just starting a career in K-12 education, reading about Patrick's experiences in being undereducated because of his dyslexia and being bullied and even abused by his school aide was tough. Now I know kids who are similar to Patrick, and I could empathize with both Patrick and the school because of the struggles that come from having a classroom full of learners at different levels. His family situation was something else with which I was able to emphasize, making this book a page-turner for me.

I also love reading about Mary's family, including her extended family, The Tonys. While Mary's parents might not feature in the book much, Scottoline writes them in such a way that they always play a huge role. And who doesn't love parents who just want to feed their kids and totally support them?

Typical of Scottoline was the big twist at the end of the book, around the 80% mark on Kindle. That's when Mary starts piecing together the parts of the case that don't make much sense, and that's when the big conspiracy is discovered. Scottline always adds a bit of drama to her books, and this is where I found it in this one.

While this is going on, Mary is also preparing for her wedding in just under two weeks. Her emotional investment in Patrick's case puts a strain on her relationship, leaving the reader wondering what might happen to her and Anthony. Will they sort it out or call it quits?

I love Scottline and all of her books. She has a knack for writing page-turners with strong female characters who save the day. I loved this one and you might too!

Notable quote:

It struck her suddenly that the pull of being needed was just as strong as the pull of needing. 

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