Jennie's Reviews > Life: An Exploded Diagram

Life by Mal Peet
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's review
Oct 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fya-book-club, historical-fiction, young-adult
Read from August 18 to 19, 2012

It's strange for me to think that most young adult readers (the target audience, not those of us who are older) were too young to remember or comprehend September 11, 2001. I can't imagine trying to write about the historical and cultural significance of that time period, not to mention the sheer terror it inspired.

So I have to admire that Mal Peet writes about the Cuban Missile Crisis, gives it a historical background, and still manages to really bring the shock and terror home to affect a couple of horny teenagers who want nothing more than to go Lewis & Clark on each others' uncharted territories. Had I read this 10-15 years ago, it would have sparked my interest in the historical narrative beyond the book. (I read this with the benefit of already having a history BA, so I was somewhat familiar with the era. The historical portions of this book offered a different and fun take on what I already "knew.")

My one small gripe is that some of the dialogue is written in dialect, and not one I could readily "hear" when I read it.

Peet's style is refreshing, slyly funny, and harsh when it needs to be. Definitely enjoyed this pick for the Forever Young Adult book club, and would recommend it to YA and adult readers alike.

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Reading Progress

08/18/2012 page 222

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