ImageOKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt

Read from March 30 to 31, 2013

Rating 5/5 stars

Okay for Now was first published on April 5th 2011, making it his eleventh published work. This is another historical fiction written by Gary D. Schmidt that was told by a teen named Douglas ‘Doug’ Swieteck. If you’ve read The Wednesday Wars, this wouldn’t be the first time you’ll hear of him. He first made an appearance as Holling’s classmate and eventually turned out to be his friend. Doug was more than a skinny thug, and he’s more than sure of that.

The story started when Doug and his family moved to a little upstate town in New York called Marysville, to accommodate proximity to his dad’s new job. Doug wasn’t very pleased with the decision. I couldn’t count the times he mentioned how he hate that stupid town. But in the course of time, he learned quite a lot of things about its people, whom he grew accustomed of.

There he met Lil Spicer, the quick-tempered daughter of the owner of the town grocery store; Mr Powell, the librarian who taught him how to draw; Mrs Windermere, the grumpy old woman who thinks the angel of God sits with her and enables her to write more plays; and a lot more.

Along the way he tried to readjust his cranky relationship with his abusive father, school mates, teachers, war veteran brother, neighbors, and even his other brother who, according to him, has a twisted criminal mind.

Other awesome factors in this book are:

  • John James Audubon’s Birds of America 1981
  • Doug’s obsession to Joe Pepitone
  • Jane Eyre
  • wrestling match in PE (I just love this, okay?)
  • Doug’s performance during Jane Eyre’s play

I found this book in a book sale and I haven’t had an idea what’s this about. All I know was that he wrote The Wednesday Wars, so I bought it. I must say, that is one of the best decision I’ve made.  The level of respect I have for the author has come into an even higher degree. There is so much to learn while you go along its pages. As usual, it’s bone-achingly funny, inspiring and a little bit sad all at once.

The author have created vital characters that even just the thought of leaving one might ruin the mood of the story. He’s stitched all the scenes to make a beautifully-written prose. It’s just flawless.

There were moments when you want to drag his abusive father to jail for doing such horrible things to Doug. There were plenty of scenes wherein you just want to give him a big hug and to tell him that everything’s going to be fine. He’s too young to suffer such awful things and yet he seemed to survive. He’s one skinny delivery boy who has the ability to steal his readers’ hearts.

Gary D. Schmidt hurt my tummy ’cause I couldn’t stop laughing that I found it hard to breathe. He also hurt my jaw for making me smile a great number of times, and last, hurt my heart for making a heart-shattering novel that will always have a special part in me. He broke my heart in a bazillion little pieces but somehow managed to put it back together. You know how that feels?

TERRIFIC. I’m not being sarcastic, as opposed to Doug’s sardonic response to almost everything.

“When you find something that’s whole, you do what you can to keep it that way.

And when you find something that isn’t, then maybe it’s not a bad idea to try to make it whole again. Maybe.” ― Gary D. Schmidt, Okay for Now