Spoiler Warning

Book reviews and discussions may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An English teacher's dream

I can't count the number of times this book made me smile.  I'm not lying.  It was that good.


In fact, I haven't smiled this much since The Book Thief and The Hunger Games series.  If I were an English teacher I would get busy putting this book in my lesson plans.  In fact, I bet there are a lot of curriculum nerds going nuts out there right now fitting this book into English classes everywhere.  It truly is an English teacher's dream.  There is so much to explore.  Well, I better go since the discush is starting but i will finish this later.

OKAY FOR NOW discussion...

Better than okay, in fact, amazing.

I already reviewed this on Goodreads, but I just want to add...

After reading scores of YA and MG novels (in and out of this book club), I've come to realize how difficult it can be for a writer to give their young protagonist an authentic voice. Too much angst can come across whiny and annoying, giving birth to an unlikable character. Yes, birth. This problem has killed many a YA book for me (I'm not naming names Graceling ahem). Too little angst, and the character can seem inauthentic or 2-dimensional. It's a fine line, mi amigos. In my professional book club opinion, Doug Swieteck walked that fine line perfectly, not a single misstep. Doug is what made this book so great. Because if all that stuff would have happened to some random kid that didn't seem so dang real, I wouldn't have cared half as much.

Katniss Everdeen
Captain Peter Blood
Gen
Doug Swieteck

Let's discuss now, shall we?

Two Thumbs Up

Brilliance

That's how I felt about this book.  Having a 13 yr old boy myself I cannot begin to understand how the author captured the "phase" so perfectly.  And yet, this boy is so different from mine in so many ways.  Obv he doesn't have an abusive, loveless father, etc.  But, how is he so strong?  How can he maintain his ability to get up every day and not curl up in a ball and give up?  It was inspiring to me that a young boy could be so strong,...so caring,....so, so,...............tenacious.  I'm not making sense.  To be honest I didn't think this was gonna happen since I hadn't seen a post from Jespy about a discush.  But yay!!  I loved this book and have already recommended it to a dozen people at least.  Let's do this!

I Was a Chump

I was a chump at least 4 times reading this book.  So what?  So what?  You probably were too. 

Here are the stats on that:

1 time when that kid gave him the Joe Pepitone jacket when he was moving away.
1 time when Douggo stopped by the paper mill and I realized his dad had kept the money and baseball and hadn't said a stupid word to him about it.
1 time when the boss at the paper mill gave him that bomber jacket.

And one other time that I can't remember but you can probably figure it out for yourself.

If you are paying attention you'll see I didn't exactly take stupid notes.

There was a point where I was mad at Jenny for picking this book and making me read it.  I think it was the part where stupid Lucas came upstairs and beat up Doug and took his Joe Pepitone baseball hat.  Yup.  That was exactly when.  Like I wanted to be all depressed.  But Doug had already grabbed me by my stupid heart and that was that.  I was glad I read it and didn't even care it made me act like a chump.   The parts that got me good were the ones where the smallest actions made the biggest differences.  It made me realize that the little things I say or don't say to people can impact them.  Young artist.  Mamma's Baby. 

I  loved the writing style.  If I could trace my finger over it and copy it like Doug did with the Arctic Tern I would in a second.  I have a feeling it's a lot harder than creating stability or movement in a sketch though  A lot harder.

I am so glad I just read Jane Eyre a month ago. 

Fantastic book.  I loved it.  So what?