*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Publication date: 2000
Shawn McDaniel's life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. He is glued to his wheelchair, unable to voluntarily move a muscle—he can't even move his eyes. For all Shawn's father knows, his son may be suffering. Shawn may want a release. And as long as he is unable to communicate his true feelings to his father, Shawn's life is in danger.
To the world, Shawn's senses seem dead. Within these pages, however, we meet a side of him that no one else has seen—a spirit that is rich beyond imagining, breathing life.
Fourteen-year-old Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy and cannot function, relates his perceptions of his life, his family, and his condition, especially as he believes his father is planning to kill him.
Stuck in Neutral is a book I read back in 2003 when I was in the 8th grade. Although I have not touched the book in over 10 years, the story has never left me. From the moment I read the blurb I knew I would enjoy the book. The premise alone gave it a head-start in rating.
The story resolves around two main conflicts. First, the main character, Shawn McDaniel has cerebral palsy. For those unaware about the condition, those with cerebral palsy is unable to voluntarily talk or move. Thus, it is easy for others to assume that those with the condition are not only physically disabled but mentally disabled as well.
The second main conflict in Stuck in Neutral is that Shawn believe someone close to him is plotting his death. What makes the latter conflict worse is that Shawn cannot inform anyone of his theory because of his condition.
Having said all that, Shawn McDaniel was definitely my favorite character of the book. Despite his seemingly debilitating condition, he was smart, and strong in ways no one could have ever imagine. To top it off, Shawn had a special gift. One, I think makes Stuck in Neutral even more interesting to read.
All in all, Stuck in Neutral was a good book and I enjoyed. The only part that drove me nuts was the ending. Ambiguity is not my strong-suit. But then again, I suppose it makes the story strong in a way. If you're searching for something different and unlike anything you've read then differently try Stuck in Neutral. *** Check out Terry Trueman's website for more information about his and Stuck in Neutral:HERE