10.25.2006

Book Review: Crooked

Crooked by Tom McNeal and Laura McNeal

SUMMARY: Clara Wilson, 14, has a crooked nose, a best friend who deserts her, and parents who argue all the time. When her mother accepts a teaching job in Spain, Clara feels abandoned and resentful. Fellow ninth-grader Amos MacKenzie has parents who embarrass him, and keep secrets from him. He enjoys a newfound popularity after being attacked by the town bad boys, Charles and Eddie Tripp, but is lost and confused when his father unexpectedly dies. His budding relationship with Clara is his only consolation. When the Tripp brothers vow revenge on Amos for reporting them to the police, he and Clara face intimidation, which draws them even closer together. In a dramatic climax, the Tripps break into her house and corner her in the attic. The characters' actions and reactions ring true as they try to cope with all of the changes that life has dealt them and still maintain a grasp on who they are. (excerpted from Library Journal)

OPINION: I hadn't heard of it before, but this book was recommended to me as one that might be good for a book discussion group. The sprawling, atmospheric story is told in chapters that alternate between Amos and Clara's points of view. I liked the complexity of Amos and Clara's lives, and the way their stories intertwined. The unique storytelling style and the compelling characters kept me interested even when the plot seemed to be dragging. In my opinion, the dramatic ending of the book was far too short for the length of time I was reading to get there. I don't think I will use it for our book discussion groups, but I think it would be a good book to curl up with for an afternoon of reading and hot chocolate.

1 comment:

Tori said...

Im reading this for a book report and cant wait to start reading :)