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05 March 2007


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Adam S.

Oh yes, because only good looking guys who commit minor crimes in high school can be popular.

Little Willow

((can't read this post yet - this book is in my to-read pile))


You know I was really disappointed with this one - to the extent that I decided not to review it in my column. There were just too many cliches right from the beginning. The wimp, of course, gets big and buff over the summer, of course he has a crush on the rich pretty girl, of course her dad is his dad's boss, of course her brother is the big athlete/jerk, or course in the very beginning when he has a change to beat the jerk in an arm wrestling contest his father won't let him as it might embarass the boss - and on and on. It was too formulaic for me. I thought Tim Tharp's Knights of Hill Country about a conflicted football player was way better. (And it is reviwed in my April column!)


Adam: Yep. The other guys who commit minor crimes in high school get put on the "Possible Future School Rampage Candidate" list. Although, in the book, he never really gets popular. Just... noticed.

Colleen: All totally, totally fair complaints. Chip, specifically, had a few lines that could have almost been originally delivered by The King of the Moustache-Twirlers, Hardy-Genns-with-TWO-ns*. It felt like it would made a better-than-average -- yet-still-cliche-ridden -- teen movie. I do still think that teen fans of the books I mentioned will enjoy it -- and I think that the accessibility factor that I mentioned may actually be enhanced by the cliches. It's a book that doesn't require any work on the part of the reader, yet still deals with lots and lots (and lots) of issues, so I could imagine it enjoying a bit more popularity than the Lynch. Anyway.

Were you expecting more because it was by LHA? Or had you heard really good things about it? I'll admit, the only LHA that I've really been blown away by is Speak**. I kind of hated Catalyst, though I read it so long ago that I'd probably have to re-read it to remember why. I liked Prom a lot, though. So my expectations weren't crazy high, which might have contributed to my lack of disappointment.

I HAVE GOT to read KoHC. I keep forgetting to snag a copy. Grrr. Thanks for the reminder!

*Name that movie!
**Which my sister hates because she thinks it is a big bag of cliches. There, Briana. Happy? I said it for you.


Oh, I forgot to mention...

Did you notice the "This is not a book for children" note at the beginning of the book? Is that A) a LHA thing, B) a Penguin thing, or C) a new-to-YA-books-in-the-hopes-of-staving-off-future-challenges thing? Interesting.


Yes, I am a fan of LHA. Yes, I think Speak wonderful. Fever, 1793, as well. No, I was not knocked over by Catalyst or Prom. I REALLY liked Twisted. I think it is the best she's written since Speak. Maybe some of the issues were cliched to some, but I think that sometimes, we need to remember that even the most hackneyed of cliches still have basis in reality - just b/c it's happened before doesn't mean it won't again, or that it's less true. Maybe I'm just overlooking things because Tyler was such a true character to me. I really identified with him. But then, his home life is familiar, so perhaps I'm too close to it. I won't hesitate to give this one away. That scene in his father's room was breath-taking - as I wrote when I posted about the book - I won't ever forget it. How often can we say that?

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