Kwoomac's Reviews > Cutting Class

Cutting Class by Magenta Periwinkle
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's review
Aug 22, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: first-reads, reviewed, young-adult
Read in August, 2011

Goodreads freebie. This story was filled with tragic figures. First, we have Johnny Boy. Johnny's mother is the school librarian, who is known to all to be a whore. She was raped as a young girl by her own father. Johnny's father, unbeknownst to him, is his grandfather. His mother has protected him from this info by telling him his father was a soldier who died in Afghanistan. The father/grandfather, in addition to being a pedophile, was also an arsonist. While in prison for arson, he killed himself by setting himself on fire. This is more info Johnny Boy's mother has not shared with him. It is somewhat hard to believe that in a small town Johnny doesn't here about his grandfather from others. The story is partly told through the journal Johnny Boy's mother kept while she was in high school. I particularly liked these journal entries. They were so full of the extremes and drama typical of a teenage girl. I smiled while reading them, it was so easy to see this girl full of romantic dreams. Johnny Boy has spent 17 years in prison for arson and murder. It is not 'til the end of the book, that the reader learns the truth about the fire.
The main characters in the present time are Pony Boy (child of Johnny Boy) and a girl he goes to high school with, Pixie. Pony Boy is an angry boy, who grew up without knowing his father at all. While he did know about his father, his mother never brough in to prison to visit his father, until the week before his father was released form prison. His mother finally introduced father and son because she is dying of breast cancer. Pony Boy is seventeen. Pixie is the daughter of Meghan, another tragic figure. Meghan was a beautiful girl in high school, popular, a cheer leader. Meghan survived the fire that killed her boyfriend Ducky. She was pregnant with Pixie (birth name Calliope) at the time. She suffered major burns. Her response to this was to become a drinker. She has been married and divorced six times and spends her nights with an endless series of lovers. She pays little attention to her daughter. Pixie and Pony Boy are in the early stages of a relationship, when PB's father gets out of jail. The two stories are told alternately, with both building toward a crescendo. This is where we learn the true story of the fire Johnny Boy went to jail for. We also learn how Pony Boy will deal with everything going on in his life; his budding relationship with Pixie, his mother's dying, and his father's new role in his life.
This was a book full of lost souls. I was rooting for them to find their way.
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Magenta Periwinkle Thank you for your honest and insightful review, it means a lot to me that you took the time to not only read my novel but to write such a well thoughtout review. Thanks again, Keli Chaffin

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