Marcelo In The Real World by Francisco X. Stork
After so much absolutely wonderful time spent inside Marcelo’s head with his constant struggle – struggle that includes ultimately choosing wrong when faced with his first major life issue – it seems a bit of a stretch at the end that after one summer job he’s ready to go to an out-of-state college, get another part-time job, and set post-graduation career plans in motion. And he gets the girl? I guess he wouldn’t feel the usual ickiness about dating a girl his father has fooled around with.
Marcelo Sandoval hears music that nobody else can hear – part of an autism-like condition that no doctor has been able to identify. But his father has never fully believed in the music of Marcelo’s differences, and he challenges Marcelo to work in the mailroom of his law firm for the summer … to join “the real world”.
There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire, but it’s a picture he finds in a file – a picture of a girl with half a face – that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.