In the middle of the night, when I probably should have been asleep, I asked my sister for a book recommendation. She said I should read I Have No Secrets,
which I had borrowed from her a few weeks ago. So I did, and stayed up for the next two hours slamming through it. A thriller with a difference, the narrator has CP, and is unable to communicate, but she knows more than anyone around her would ever guess.
I Have No Secrets – Penny Joelson
Jemma knows who did the murder. She knows because he told her. And she can’t tell anyone.
Fourteen-year-old Jemma has severe cerebral palsy. Unable to communicate or move, she relies on her family and carer for everything. She has a sharp brain and inquisitive nature, and knows all sorts of things about everyone. But when she is confronted with this terrible secret, she is utterly powerless to do anything. Though that might be about to change…
A page-turning thriller seen through the eyes of a unique narrator, this is a truly original, heart-rending and compulsive book for young adult readers. Perfect for fans of Wonder, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Looking for JJ.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Told from the perspective of a disabled MC, sympathetic without being mawkish, and full of thrills, it was a compelling read – I read it in one sitting, in the middle of the night, and enjoyed every page.
It was a very quick read, with a lot of thoughts on the nature of family, being fostered, what it means to be someone’s sister, a lot of interesting points on disability representation and reactions of people who aren’t used to being around those with disabilities. There was an excellent scene with a temporary carer, who treated Jemma like a toddler, despite her being fourteen years of age both physically and mentally. The way it was dealt with was, I thought (without being massively familiar with disability representation) that it was really well-done.
Short (maybe too short) and very enjoyable, I thoroughly recommend this thriller.