Mar 12, 12
People who can't staunch the voices in their heads
Read from March 09 to 12, 2012
Another action packed YA book. We start in the New World, Prentisstown, with the young Todd Hewitt on the verge of manhood. Which may be 13 or 14 depending on which worlds calendar you are using. Town is weird on multiple levels, the first and most obvious, is that everyone can hear everyone's thoughts aka Noise. From Todd's dog, Manchee's, simplistic charming barks to more complex grown men, whose thoughts are usually centered on pain and sorrow. In addition to this, other weirdness includes no women - anywhere.
When a boy becomes a man, a big TO-DO is done, the kind of which you get a whiff of something sinister but you're not quite sure exactly what the deal is going to be. Todd and Manchee are sent off to RUN before his big birthday and at this time, it's still unclear but you know it's bad. As they are on the run, all that Todd was taught about his life begins to unravel. This is one of the best parts of the book, the unraveling. Some of it you see coming but for me, some of it was creatively done, shockers. As with any good YA book the main character is forced to make some awful decisions and than live with the consequences. One thing for sure, things get stuck in your Noise and that's, more often than not, not a good thing.
What I liked about this book is that it moves at a quick pace, Todd is believably vulnerable as a kid and the idea of what can happen with settlers in a new world. There's also a lot of kicking ass and interesting characters to meet. As Todd travels to different settlements it's interesting to see how others have handled the Noise situation.
What I didn't like was the use of phonetical spelling, which drives me crazy and that for all the history that we learn about the New World, I feel like a lot is left out. I know this is the first book in the series and maybe this is intentional but it made some of the choices and outcomes confusing in their simplicity.
"You might as well just crumple up the world I know and throw it away."