Thanks to my buddy, Ann, who suggested this awesome book to me!
This is the story of ten-year-old Gabe. He's super smart -- so smart that he was just aThanks to my buddy, Ann, who suggested this awesome book to me!
This is the story of ten-year-old Gabe. He's super smart -- so smart that he was just accepted to a special summer camp for smart kids -- and he's such an infectiously thoughtful and enthusiastic character, that you can't help but love him from page one.
When Gabe finds out his dad is getting remarried, and he'll have a stepbrother, he's overjoyed and plans out everything he wants to share with his new bro on their first meeting. When they finally meet, Gabe is a little stunned to discover that his brother-to-be is not a nerd like him, but instead is a super cool boy with gelled hair and his own cell phone. Gabe, not wanting to risk a chance at friendship with his new brother, tries to play it cool, hiding his nerdiness as much as he can.
Leaving for camp is a great opportunity for him to figure out how to solve his problem. He even creates a logic proof to test the theory that he might be a nerd who only has nerdy adventures.
I don't want to give too much of the story away because it's such a great journey, and you get to follow thoughtful Gabe on his summer adventure at Nerd Camp while he learns some great things about himself, about his new brother, and about being a nerd.
It's not a saccharine sweet tale, there's some nicely nuanced handling of kids coping with peer criticism, and the vehicle for the resolution is unexpected but satisfying (even if it does strain credulity a bit to make it happen so quickly -- your readers won't care, I certainly didn't!).
Great for boys and girls around the age of ten, especially those who might need some help gaining perspective on how awesome nerdiness can really be.
And now, I really wish I'd gone to Nerd Camp as a kid!...more
Suzuma's characters are so vivid, so compelling, you find yourself sometimes getting lost in the beauty of theirOh man, y'all. This book? Is intense!
Suzuma's characters are so vivid, so compelling, you find yourself sometimes getting lost in the beauty of their love for one another, and forgetting all about the squicky incest part -- which makes it even weirder when you resurface from one of the heady physical love scenes and see them again as siblings.
I only have a sister, no brothers, so perhaps the idea of incest is slightly less alarming for me than for someone who has a sibling of the opposite sex... but I thought their love was charming. I thought their clinging to one another as their world fell down around them was actually quite lovely. Nevermind that incest is one of the last taboos. And that you know, deep down, that they're going to get caught...somehow, somewhere, sometime. The fantasy that they create -- a world where they can run away and be different people and be together -- seems so delusional to us, the readers. But you can't deny their right to that delusion. In many ways, you wonder if it's that desire to run away from all the responsibilities that were foisted upon them that pulls them together like magnets. That because they couldn't even entertain the thought of running away from responsibility in their own minds, that they shoved it so deep into their psyche, that running towards their own kind of oblivion was the only fantasy that was still safe.
The sex scenes are graphic and really, really, well done. I'd hesitate handing this to anyone under 17, just because there's a certain level of maturity needed to respect the ideas being contemplated in this book, in the context of they physical love of Lochie and Maya. However, for those who are looking for a real love story -- intense, passionate, meaningful, desperate, burning, the kind that gives you goosebumps -- but an ill-fated one, (oh, so many Shakespearean references here!) this book is going to be one that sticks with you for a long time. Also a great book for discussion, if readers can put aside their personal feelings about the book, and discuss the themes and writing without getting mired in the taboo....more
Wow. Rarely have I read a story so engrossing, beautiful, poignant and inspiring. The story of a brave indigenous girl who despite being kept as an inWow. Rarely have I read a story so engrossing, beautiful, poignant and inspiring. The story of a brave indigenous girl who despite being kept as an indentured servant, manages to thrive. Virginia is truly vivisima. ...more