Can you imagine what life would be like being fully able to understand and think but having no way to physically move? It would be a special kind of torture, I think, and this is especially obvious in 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace by Johan Twiss.
This is the story of a now 14-year-old boy named Aaron who has been trapped for the last two years after contracting an extremely rare disease. Once his parents are no longer able to care for him, he is moved to an extended care facility to exist until he recovers...if that ever happens. A new roommate named Solomon is suffering from dementia, but he can inexplicably hear Aaron’s thoughts. Together, they help each other navigate the complex layers of the mind and build a powerful relationship in the process. Please see my full review here.
There are so many layers to this story: complex emotions, humor, history, memory, danger, and imagination. Expertly presented, the story itself will resonate with readers long after it ends and will propel them through the narrative to find out what happens next.
I especially appreciated the palpable descriptions of historical events where Aaron finds himself squarely inside of Solomon’s memories. Many of these descriptions—especially those of war—are not shared by those who experienced them. Seeing them in this way gives both Aaron and the reader a direct understanding of Solomon’s life without him having to repeat the memories aloud. One particular moment in the book brought an instant connection to The Magical Imperfect and added a surprising new layer to the book for me. I love when that happens!
Though written for a middle grade audience, readers of all ages will find a character with whom they will connect in this story. This unique presentation of the complexities of the human mind is one that will be ruminated on for a long time. I hope you get a chance to read this wonderful story!
Do you know another great story I should feature in my blog? Message me here and let me know!