DiscoverComing of Age

Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth


Loved it! 😍

You will be transported into the shoes of an insecure teenager, but left with his renewed courage- prepare to have your inner child healed.

This novel has an imaginative take on communicating a bildungsroman story-somewhat odd and eccentric but charming. The premise is complex and feels to some degree ambiguous to appeal to different readers; it could be seen as a story of gender dysphoria, as the sense of euphoria from gendered bodily changes certainly indicates. Or, to generalise the overarching message, simply about escaping your body and stepping away from your own perspective as representation of finding freedom from yourself. Thus, seeing different perspectives and having a taste of the freedom that these new perceptions of the world could bring. This brings Theo a sense of exhilarating peace, evident through the quotation: “the colors, the shades of gray, the smells, the sounds of the birds. A lost world I was too busy to see anymore”. Theo certainly finds freedom from what it means to be ‘manly’ through the presence of Sprout, which as a consequence makes him reconsider his relationship with his brother, BJ. His brother exhibits the stereotypical ‘manliness’ and ridicules Theo for not, through ‘tough love’ and what is described as "manliness training", which turns out to be physical and mental abuse. Sprout teaches Theo the art of bodily intuition, and allows him to grow his mindset out of reach from those who can hurt his mind.

The novel is a really effective coming-of-age story because it beautifully articulates the feeling that so many people experience when trying to find their place in the world. I think it is so effective because it is so character based; the reader goes on a huge journey with Theo and Sprout and their growing relationship with each other. A big theme is navigating an introverted nature in an environment that is so cramped and full, described as “a hive always buzzing with activity”. It is interesting that Theo so frequently wants to be alone but finds solace and a sense of freedom when he is joined by Sprout and they come together as one being. She teaches him how to release himself from his state of self-restraint by injecting him with parts of himself that he wishes he was able to project. It’s a complex plan, but one that works. Sprout shows Theo and even the reader that a sense of freedom has to come from within, and you must make peace with yourself in order to feel liberated; it is completely intimate.

The only negative that I discovered when reading this book was that it was a little repetitive. A lot of the examples of Sprout taking charge of Theo's body and mindset I felt had already been displayed in, for example, the previous chapter. However, while perhaps unintentional, the repetitiveness also built up a sort of tension; you begin to wonder how it is all going to end and what it could be possibly building up to. And trust me, the end does not disappoint.

Reviewed by

Hi, I'm Sam! My life has been books books books from birth, to University, to beyond. I love to be a part of a community that has a genuine interest in seeking out these perhaps 'undiscovered' books and helping them get the appreciation that they deserve.

About the author

Born and raised on the plains of North Dakota. Moved to Twin Cities because it’s actually warmer. Enjoy creating in whatever form it takes. I’ve pursued writing, painting, and furniture making. The enjoyment is in the doing. view profile

Published on May 21, 2022

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Coming of Age

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