Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Okay for Now

Midwesterner Gary D. Schmidt won Newbery Honor awards for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boys and The Wednesday Wars, two coming-of-age novels about unlikely friends finding a bond. Okay For Now, his latest novel, explores another seemingly improbable alliance, this one between new outsider in town Doug Swieteck and Lil Spicer, the savvy spitfire daughter of his deli ow


Midwesterner Gary D. Schmidt won Newbery Honor awards for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boys and The Wednesday Wars, two coming-of-age novels about unlikely friends finding a bond. Okay For Now, his latest novel, explores another seemingly improbable alliance, this one between new outsider in town Doug Swieteck and Lil Spicer, the savvy spitfire daughter of his deli owner boss. With her challenging assistance, Doug discovers new sides of himself. Along the way, he also readjusts his relationship with his abusive father, his school peers, and his older brother, a newly returned war victim of Vietnam.


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    Emily May

    Sep 08, 2012

    rated it
    it was amazing

    Recommended to Emily May by:
    Tatiana

    My favourite books are always those that prove me wrong, that break my own rules. I used to say I didn’t like the traditional or “high” fantasy genre, and then Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta proved that I had actually just not found the right brand of traditional fantasy to suit me. As a rule, I tend to avoid like the plague young adult books that are about dealing with the death of a loved one or teenage pregnancy… but Please Ignore Vera Dietz and How to Save a Life proved that I ju

    But Schmidt somehow manages to handle his characters so expertly that it’s okay. No, more than that, it’s bloody brilliant. In this book, Doug Swieteck – a character we first meet in The Wednesday Wars – comes back to tell his own story, one which is far more painful and sad than Holling’s. At first it seems like the entire world is out to get Doug, his family have had to move to a small crappy house in a small crappy town, his father is abusive, his brother is a bully, everything good that comes into his life is eventually taken from him. Not only that, but Doug has a few secret problems that it is becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide. And I’m sure that so far it sounds like every typical teen “issue book” filled with the usual melodrama. But no.

    Because people are not what they seem and even the worst have the capacity for good and change. What I love most is the way Schmidt makes every character count, he introduces many people into this story and you will find yourself forming opinions of them straight away, only to discover that they are way more multidimensional than that. The author throws up constant surprises and when you think you’ve finally figured out what kind of novel you are reading and what sort of story this is supposed to be, it turns out you’re wrong. Every single character in this novel gets the chance to be a person not just an archetype, they are made up of good and bad, they all have faults and they all have positive qualities also. To build so many complex individuals into your story must be challenging and this novel has firmly cemented Mr Schmidt into one of my favourite authors of all time.

    I said at the beginning of this review that some of my favourite books are the ones that challenge and break the rules I have made for myself about what I like to read, and I think I’m starting to get some idea of what makes these rule-breakers so special: it is because that, even though they fall into the category I typically don’t like, they are actually so much more than that. And it is mostly to do with the characters. To simplify Marchetta’s Lumatere series by calling it merely “traditional fantasy” is unforgivable when I think about the richness of the world she has created and the range of personalities in it. Same with Please Ignore Vera Dietz and How to Save a Life, they are not simply about death and teen pregnancy, they are about colourful characters that are so well-crafted they feel real. And Okay for Now is the same.

    This book is about a lot of things. It is about small town gossip and how you can be ostracised because of the mistakes and failures of those close to you. It’s about learning to see the world in a new way – which sounds totally trite but, trust me, it works. It really works! I think that is this book’s real triumph: Schmidt takes a few simple and overdone ideas, mixes them up a bit, and churns out something completely original. And isn’t that the best kind of story?
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    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    Oct 05, 2015

    rated it
    it was amazing

     · 
    review of another edition

    Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by:
    Emily May

    Actual rating : 4.5 stars

    There is something to be said for a book which manages to make me tear out on page 3 over a jacket, don’t you think?

    Indeed Okay for Now is a beautiful coming of age story which is every bit as powerful as what I expect from my favorite authors in the YA realistic genre, such as A.S. King, Melina Marchetta or Hannah Moskowitz.

    What you need to know is that every character, even the weirdest of all, rings true, and above that, evolves throughout the story. Be prepared for

    Actual rating : 4.5 stars

    There is something to be said for a book which manages to make me tear out on page 3 over a jacket, don’t you think?

    Indeed Okay for Now is a beautiful coming of age story which is every bit as powerful as what I expect from my favorite authors in the YA realistic genre, such as A.S. King, Melina Marchetta or Hannah Moskowitz.

    What you need to know is that every character, even the weirdest of all, rings true, and above that, evolves throughout the story. Be prepared for this uncomfortable moment when you realize that no matter what you thought you knew, you were wrong. That no matter what you thought you felt, you’d change your mind. And let me tell you, here lies the absolute beauty of this novel, because isn’t it often the same in real life? How many times did you presume something only to readjust your opinion after?

    “Shut up. It’s not like you – “
    “Like I what? Like I what, Douggo? Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be so angry that you… And then something happens, and after that, everyone figures that’s what you’re like, and that’s what you’re always going to be, and so you just decide to be it? But the whole time you’re thinking, Am I going to be like him? Or am I already like him?”

    How to emancipate from our family? How to express ourselves? How to break the cycle of abuse?

    By no means there’s a right answer to these questions, and I really appreciated that Gary D. Schmidt never attempted to drown the readers in pompous speeches and oh-so-meaningful conversations that always scream fake to me. In the contrary, Doug’s family’s journey is a long one, sometimes desperate, sometimes hopeful, and it was perfect as it was.

    “But in The Dump, Angry Quiet was an old friend, and he moved in again. No one talked because we all wanted to scream.”

    As for Doug, his way of dealing with his issues is not something I would have expected to enjoy. I mean, birds. Can you see me frowning? I won’t lie, I was skeptical at first : a teenager who draws birds to escape his shitty life? *in a hight pitched voice* Yeah, riiight. However, I am not one who doesn’t know when to acknowledge her defeat, and defeat it is. I was WRONG. Yes, this kind of storyline can interest me, and even more, pull at my heart strings – wow. Now that was completely unexpected.

    And do you know what was even more unexpected? Me going back to the drawings introducing every chapter to look at them closely, to try to analyze how Doug was forming that wing, that beak, even if I can’t draw for the life of me (really, my students make fun of me when I sketch a man on the board. I’m that bad). But you know what? Doug made me care. About birds.

    In all honesty, I thought that the way Doug’s story was written, dismissing graphic descriptions in favor of suggestions, gave it so much more power. So much more emotion. Glued to the pages, I couldn’t breathe at times, I have to admit. As Doug, I felt suffocated, stuck in the spirals of abuse. Not to mention these little sentences repeated along the way that either broke my heart or made me smile so, so big.

    “You know what that feels like?”

    Do you? Doug’s voice felt so real that my heart was in my throat at the first sign of heartbreak. And oh boy. Does it contains heartbreak. I’m warning you here, the whole story can be read as a shout at the readers, as SOS calls nobody’s been listening to. It hurts. I won’t lie. I broke out in tears. Several times.

    However, I wouldn’t want you to think that the sadness overtakes everything – it doesn’t. Clear the layers of hopelessness, and you’ll be amazed to see how much life can surprise you. Beyond the reality of how hard it is to live when trapped in a cycle of spite and anger, Okay for Now offers us so much hope – it’s truly beautiful.

    “Maybe the Snowy Heron is going to come off pretty badly when the planes come together. Maybe. But he’s still proud and beautiful. His head is high, and he’s got this sharp beak that’s facing out to the world.
    He’s okay for now.”

    For more of my reviews, please visit:



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    Tatiana

    Nov 24, 2010

    rated it
    it was amazing

    Recommends it for:
    everyone

    I don’t think I’ve cried this much over a book since Mockingjay. Okay for Now must be one of the most bitter-sweet stories out there. Exhilarating is probably the best word to describe it.

    If you’ve read The Wednesday Wars, you already know the main character of this novel – Doug Swieteck. While this companion novel follows the formula and themes of The Wednesday Wars, Doug’s story is a heavier one. Holling’s problems are nothing compared to Doug’s. His father is quick with his hands, his elder

    If you’ve read The Wednesday Wars, you already know the main character of this novel – Doug Swieteck. While this companion novel follows the formula and themes of The Wednesday Wars, Doug’s story is a heavier one. Holling’s problems are nothing compared to Doug’s. His father is quick with his hands, his elder brother is a bully, his mother is powerless, he himself is defined by what his family is and can’t seem to break away from the image everyone has of him.

    But, thankfully, there are new people in Doug’s life who expect the best of him, who give him a fair chance at succeeding in life, who empower him to become the best person he can be and he, in turn, empowers others.

    It is amazing how complex and multi-layered Schmidt’s characters are. You think of them in one way and then there comes a moment when they reveal another side of themselves, and suddenly a bully is a loyal brother, a prejudiced school principal is the best supporter… I love it that everyone in this book has redeeming qualities that are ready to be expressed, if only you give a person a chance.

    The book took me on an emotional roller-coaster ride. It made me cry my eyes out in sorrow one moment and grin (and again, cry) in delight and of pride the next. Schmidt has a wonderful way with words and a skill of showing and not telling, when by saying nothing, he says it all.

    I have no doubt Okay for Now will be a serious Newbery contender in 2011 and, dare I say, it is even superior to The Wednesday Wars. The book is not out until April of the next year, but it is so worth waiting for. Too bad this cover doesn’t do this terrific book justice.
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