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I Felt a Funeral In My Brain
Cover of I Felt a Funeral In My Brain
I Felt a Funeral In My Brain
How do you deal with a hole in your life?
Do you turn to poets and pop songs?
Do you dream?
Do you try on love just to see how it fits?
Do you grieve?
If you're Avery, you do all of these things. And you write it all down in an attempt to understand what's happened—and is happening—to you.
I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain is an astonishing novel about navigating death and navigating life, at a time when the only map you have is the one you can draw for yourself.
How do you deal with a hole in your life?
Do you turn to poets and pop songs?
Do you dream?
Do you try on love just to see how it fits?
Do you grieve?
If you're Avery, you do all of these things. And you write it all down in an attempt to understand what's happened—and is happening—to you.
I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain is an astonishing novel about navigating death and navigating life, at a time when the only map you have is the one you can draw for yourself.
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Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2018

    Gr 9 Up-What is the appropriate response to the death of a grandparent? What about when the grandparent was your best friend? When you're aspiring poet Avery, you write down your grief. You have dreams where Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath become talking plants. You seek solace in the words of queer poets. Avery's nonlinear narration weaves the story of his deep and complex relationship with his grandfather, his mother's struggle with alcoholism, and his budding relationship with Luca, the son of his mother's best friend. Readers who are ready for a challenge will be pleasantly surprised with Walton's storytelling. The narrative's seamless mix of prose and poetry will draw teens in and wrap its fingers around their hearts. The almost stream-of-consciousness style shows adeptly how complicated love and grief can be. Readers will appreciate the realistic intricacies and heartache. Fans of Andrew Smith and Francesca Lia Block will be floored by this emotional roller coaster peppered with heartrending text. VERDICT A powerful voice who will speak to fans of poetry ready for a good cry.-Carrie Finberg, South Park High School, PA

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2018
    A damaged patella lays up Avery Fowell and gives him time to contemplate the most eventful summer of his life.Best friends Avery and Luca, two white boys, made a pact: If they passed biology, they'd lose their virginity with each other. They've been friends forever because their alcoholic mothers used to get drunk together--and are now in recovery together (although Luca's mom is much more successful). When a car crash lands Avery in a cast and his mother in rehab, Avery stays with his beloved grandfather Pal and Pal's girlfriend, Babs. However, Pal has his own problems with alcohol, complicated by his diabetes, and Luca has asked to cool things down. Avery does his best to cope with everyone's issues while exploring who he is, wants to be, and will be. As he deals with history, betrayal, and grief, he finds the best tool is poetry, that of the masters and his own. Walton's (Anything Could Happen, 2015) sophomore effort eloquently explores a lot of territory in prosey-verse...or maybe versey-prose. The pop references won't weather well, and the poetical references will only spark the poets in the crowd. However, those willing to invest a little time and brain power in figuring out (or feeling out) what the text communicates will be rewarded with a heartfelt and ultimately uplifting experience peopled with real humans.Portrait of the artist as a young queer. (Prose-verse hybrid. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 4, 2018
    Walton’s (Anything Could Happen) brilliant novel-in-verse is an exploration of grief, coming of age, and the life-altering power of recognizing one’s self in literature. High-schooler Avery is navigating new romantic and sexual territory with his best friend (“Our bargain was that if we both aced Bio, we would finally have sex, for our first times each, with each other”). At home, his mother is an alcoholic who injured him in a drunk-driving accident, and he’s mourning his heartbroken grandfather. Inspired by Faulkner and a stack of works by famous poets (Sexton, Plath, and Rich, among others), which his teacher gives him to dig through over the summer, Avery tries his hand at writing in many forms: journaling, fiction, and free verse. With lyrical lines and very little introduction, Walton immediately drops readers into the caverns of Avery’s headspace and delivers a difficult, beautifully cadenced novel that examines painful aspects of love while offering moments of profound guidance: “Be honest about how you feel/ With the people you love/ Who love you/ Who are worth it.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Peter Knapp, Park Literary & Media.

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    Scholastic Inc.
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I Felt a Funeral In My Brain
I Felt a Funeral In My Brain
Will Walton
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