Monday, November 17, 2008
teen books: Paranoid Park
I recently read an article by a 13 year old boy about what kinds of books boys want to read, and why the teen books for boys often fall flat. He writes:
"Another giant, oily blemish on the face of teenage literature (that was entirely intentional) is whatever urge compels writers to clumsily smash morals about fairness or honor or other cornball crap onto otherwise fine stories. Do you not think we get enough of that in our parents' and teachers' constant attempts to shove the importance of justice and integrity down our throats? We get it. I assure you, it makes no difference in our behavior at all."
Okay, so I recently read a really great book that would appeal to those who share Max's opinions: Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson. So scary, so real, so devoid of phony moralizing. The unnamed narrator is a skater kid who accidentally gets involved in a fight in which someone dies a rather gruesome death. So begins the most horrible, lonely odyssey of his life. Absolutely shocking, unstoppable page turning.