Aug 15, 12
Read from August 09 to 14, 2012
Finished it in one big sweep last night. There was a lot of momentum to this story, especially at the end.
This is not a book for the faint of heart. It's vicious, hard, unforgiving, and very hard to put down. It's got a lot of the hallmarks of noir fiction: a slightly tarnished protagonist, moral ambiguity, murky politics and connections, and a general sense of things happening in the shadows that you shouldn't look at too closely. Combine that with the cruelty, confusion, and anger of adolescence, and you've got a volatile story.
Much like it's prequel, Shotgun Gravy, this was a little too close to home to be a comfortable read. Atlanta Burns is relate-able enough that I winced when she did something she shouldn't, because those are mistakes I could make. For my money, this was a truer representation of high school than most YA fiction. A lot of those leave out the truly shitty parts, or at least blunt their edge. Here they're all lined up to see, hyped on Ritalin and vodka and looking for an ass to kick.
There was also one point (relax, no spoilers) where I thought something had happened, and a little voice in my head was whimpering "nononononononono" over and over. Hard to do to me.
I have thoughts on the ending as well, but I'll keep my spoilers to myself. Let me just say that the resolution fits well with the story and with Atlanta's character.
A good read. Just make sure you buckle up for the ride.