There's a lot of general public opinion around this work, so i'll be brief and spoiler-free.
It's okay. It milks nostalgia in the way it should, it feeThere's a lot of general public opinion around this work, so i'll be brief and spoiler-free.
It's okay. It milks nostalgia in the way it should, it feels like a true follow-up (because it is, I suppose), and it has a satisfying ending.
If you enjoyed the epilogue of The Deathly Hallows (which is kind of a touchy subject with fans, it seems) then you'll enjoy this just fine. If you thought the epilogue was hokey and useless, you won't enjoy this at all. Myself? I kinda ride the border. I liked the epilogue, but I did find it a bit cheesy.
This does have its problems though. I didn't like Albus as a character much at all; I get that he had some issues, but it just felt like he was trying to be edgy too much of the time, which had me rolling my eyes and just wishing he'd go away. Scorpio, however, was a pleasant character to follow and I enjoyed learning about him, his relation to his family, and his own problems. Albus does get better, but it was a little frustrating at first.
Ultimately, it's just ok. It's nothing crazy good or bad, but it's fine. ...more
Trampoline has forced me to come to terms with something.
When I think about Appalachia, I tend to think of it in a very pastoral, romantic way; sunliTrampoline has forced me to come to terms with something.
When I think about Appalachia, I tend to think of it in a very pastoral, romantic way; sunlight glimmering through trees, june bugs buzzing in humid fields, families gathered for big feeds in tiny kitchens. However, as much as I think of these things... that is not the whole truth. Drugs. Addiction. Rampant unchecked violence due to too much rural land and too few urban police. These, too, are part of Appalachia, and they're often overlooked for bright, cheery nature scenes, and i'll admit that i've not been an exception to that fact.
Trampoline's story, following fifteen-year-old Dawn Jewell and her grandmother as they fight to protect Blue Bear Mountain from MTR mining, is a harsh one. The people around Dawn are both quirky and interesting, but at the same time dangerous. One character, upon his neighbor learning that he supports a petition against mountaintop removal mining, finds their dog dying a gruesome death after being fed meat laced with broken glass. Dawn herself winds up in many fights over what is, more or less, her grandmother's, not hers, fight against the mining companies.
It is in this world, a mix of rural depravity and picturesque quirkiness, that we follow Dawn. Speaking personally, I found Dawn to be a somewhat unlikable character for the largest portion of the novel. She never seems to speak to anyone, lets things stew inside her head, which leads to many bull-headed incidents. However, it's worth saying that i've never been a fifteen-year-old girl (no, not even that one time) and so there may be an aspect of her character i'm missing. In a world of characters reacting without thinking, I would have liked a bit more reaction from her and less thinking.
Ultimately, I came away from the novel feeling good about it. It has also helped me gain a fresh perspective on not only the best of what Appalachia can offer, but also the worst.
In a strange way, i'm reminded of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. Within that novel, McCarthy demonstrates through Lester Ballard the most depraved actions seemingly possible by a human being, illustrating that even Lester is a "Child of God, much like yourself." Gipe uses the violent nature of several characters to create a contrast, and show that the people of Canard County are neither good, nor evil, but human. That said, it can be a rough read if you go into it expecting picturesque mountain vistas.