Shut Up by Anne Tibbets

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shut Up by Anne Tibbets

Publisher:  Premier Digital Publishing
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Pages: 118
Source: author in exchange for an honest review, Thanks, Anne Tibbets!
Buy It: Barnes & NobleAmazon
Mary's older sister, Gwen, has royally screwed up her life. Not only is Gwen pregnant at seventeen, but she's also decided to marry The Creep who knocked her up.
Now Mary is powerless to stop her family from imploding. Her parents are freaking out, and to top it off The Creep has a gross fascination with Mary while Gwen enjoys teasing her to tears for sport.
Despite her brother's advice to shut up, Mary can't keep her trap closed and manages to piss off Mom so much it comes to blows.
Mary doesn't know what to do, and all her attempts to get help are rejected. When she finally plans her escape, she fails to consider how it could destroy them all.--Goodreads
Mary has major family issues.  Her sister, Gwen, got pregnant by the Creep and now is trying to make Mary’s world a living hell for her.  Her parents are too caught up in the latest Gwen scandal to realize that they are ultimately hurting the family by how they are handling these events.  Peter tries to give advice to Mary but she’s too young to really grasp what he is trying to say.  She needs to learn, as Peter suggested, to shut up so that maybe their family can all live in peace.

The cover just scares me to bits.  Mary, the main character, is a tween that seriously has a problem with her mouth (well, her parents have a problem with her talking).  So I understand that the pose on the cover is just to show that she will shut up.  However, the model looks way older than the tween years Mary is supposed to be in and it still looks like a picture straight out of a horror movie for me.

Tibbets created a cutting, emotional read that is still with me even after weeks reading it.  However, this book seemed to go on forever with this one theme: abuse (abusive relationships) and there almost seemed like no redeemable qualities until maybe the very end.  The one thing that got me very confused was the way the novel was structured.  Tibbets would put things in italics to say that was present (I think) and the normal font would be the past.  It was really hard to decipher because Mary kept going back and forth and I had to continually ask myself where I had left off in the past or present.  Anne Tibbets wrote this hard novel because she definitely knows how to go down deep into the emotion vault and even if the reader can’t relate to poor Mary, they can cry for her.

Growing up in an abusive house did not help Mary grow at all.  It must have sucked because I kept putting myself in Mary’s shoes, along her path and I don’t think I would have survived living like that when I was twelve.  It seemed like the world was against her, but especially her parents who seriously need to take some parenting classes to get their heads on straight.  Since the most of the other characters were against Mary in some way, I found a really difficult time liking them.  However, I enjoyed Peter’s efforts and it seemed that, at times, he was the only one who cared.

Overall, Shut Up cuts readers deep, making them feel for the main character like never before.  You will be so shocked, by what occurs in this novel, that you may shut up for a bit too.  

First Sentence:
I creep out the front door of the house, closing it behind me as quietly as I can.”
-Shut Up by Anne Tibbets, p. 1
Rated PG-13 for strong language, child abuse, thoughts of suicide, and a pregnant teen.

Cover: 3
Characters: 4
Writing Style: 3
Plot: 4
Ending: 5


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  1. Enjoyed your review, but it sounds like a tough read as Mary has such an abusive family. Don't think this is my type of book, but great job on explaining what did and didn't work! :)

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