Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman

Title: Something Like Hope
Author: Shawn Goodman
Stand Alone
Format- Hardcover
Publisher- Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published- December 28th, 2010
Pages- 208
Source- Library

17-year-old Shavonne has been in juvenile detention since the seventh grade. Mr Delpopolo is the first counselor to treat her as an equal, and he helps her get to the bottom of her self-destructive behavior, her guilt about past actions, and her fears about leaving the Center when she turns 18. Shavonne tells him the truth about her crack-addicted mother, the child she had (and gave up to foster care) at fifteen, and the secret shame she feels about what she did to her younger brother after her mother abandoned them.

Meanwhile, Shavonne’s mentally unstable roommate Cinda makes a rash move, and Shavonne’s quick thinking saves her life—and gives her the opportunity to get out of the Center if she behaves well. But Shavonne’s faith is tested when her new roommate, mentally retarded and pregnant Mary, is targeted by a guard as a means to get revenge on Shavonne. As freedom begins to look more and more likely, Shavonne begins to believe that maybe she, like the goslings recently hatched on the Center’s property, could have a future somewhere else—and she begins to feel something like hope.

This is a brutally honest, but hopeful story of finding yourself and moving beyond your past.

Shavonne has never had it easy. Her life has been one problem after the other. Her time at juvenile detention keeps her away from her daughter. Her daughter who she feels is better off without her but it is still her daughter. So she longs to hold her and love her one more time. She was born in the juvenile detention and she could only spend a few moments with her before she was taken away. Although this was sad this wasn't the least unpleasant thing that she had to experience. During her time at the juvenile detention she had moments where she looked back on her life and there were hints that something went wrong with her brother. Something she could never forgive herself for. The thing is when your mother is never there and all you have is your little brother things can happen. She has such a strong attachment to him that if anything were to happen to him she might break. She kind of did. It was like he was her son. You don't find out till close to the end what she did. By then you have been emotionally compromised and you are crying all over the place. When it's revealed I just wanted to hug her. She was a kid. She should have never had that responsibility. It's really sad when your mother doesn't have a good life and you inherit that because once everything hit the fan she had to be put into foster homes. Things happened. Messed up things that make me want fight people. Cringe worthy things. That is my warning to you if you want to read this book. Get ready.

Shavonne has this tough personality because that's how she has to survive. She has to protect herself. You know those people that act tough but really there is so much turmoil in their hearts that they are ready to break? That's Shavonne. I see from her point of view how everything seems so pointless like where do you go from here? I don't know how she doesn't just give up but she does have someone that makes her want to get out of that jail. Her daughter and a guard. The guard is pure evil. I hate her guts. She needs to just stop living... She antagonizes people. There are some crazy people in there and later on someone with a mental disability. And even if it's just the girls that have attitude they have major problems too. There is a reason why they chose to do the things they did. She likes to mess with their heads. Shavonne tries to stay out of her way but she has a soft heart. She has the crazy girl who lived with her and was fascinated by some birds. She was a real sweetheart who wouldn't hurt a fly. You find out her back story in a rather shocking way. It was brilliant but that could have ended badly. Shavonne gets a new roommate with which the guard decides to mess with to get to her. She has a mental disability and... she's pregnant. That's just not right.

Shavonne got angry and did something wrong to someone who was kind to her. She meets the new counselor because of this. He's very sad and has some big problems in his life himself. His approach to her was interesting. I don't know how he could stand to be cursed at. I would cry. I love that the counselor saves the day. This book was pretty intense and had me cringing at moments. It was disgusting to read about what people are capable of. Of course I know it exists but it's just wrong to read about. Shavonne was a strong main character and I have to say yay! Diversity! It's too bad when there is a girl of color in a young adult book that she has to face all these hardships. I was very satisfied with the end although it was bittersweet. I loved how everything came together. It was very hopeful.

For info about Shawn Goodman and his books go to:


  1. Wonderful review, Adriana! Very descriptive and persuasive. I'm glad you enjoyed Something Like Hope, it sounds like the kind of moving, touching novel I would pick up.

    By the way, you have a lovely blog! I'm surprised I hadn't found it until now. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. :)


  2. This sounds like a very powerful book! I am glad the book is hopeful! Love the review. :)

    1. Thanks so much (:
      I actually was worried the review wasn't that good. I have resolved to spend at least three hours on reviews so I know I did my best job.

  3. Every time I go to the library I pick up this book, the title always jumps out at me and the cover is just beautiful! Sounds like it was a very emotional and hard book to read, I'm not sure I would want to put myself through it. Brilliant review by the way =)

    1. Really? That's interesting. I guess it depends on where you are at. Sometimes you want to read a book but it's not the right time. *blushes* thanks (:


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...