|Nomadic SA Chick||
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Adults
Page Count: 240
Fiction Genre: YA, Realistic, Humor, For School
Dates Read: November 11-13, 2015
Reading Challenge: ATW Reading Challenge
Topic: #348: A book that takes place in Washington State
From the very beginning, life has been against Junior. He's kind of goofy looking, cares about his academics, doesn't have many friends, and has asked to go to school off of the reservation. This decision has pitted him against the people of his tribe, especially his best friend, who is just as much of an outcast as Junior is.
Dear Mr. Alexie, and other YA authors,
Please stop acting like you think your readers are idiots who are just learning to read and think for themselves.
Alexie gives us an interesting look at Native American life on a Washington State reservation. He tells a good story, but he flattens out his characters so much that they have as much dimension as a Barbie paper doll. At first I had a lot of sympathy for Junior, and for all the loneliness he felt in school. Later on though, I had nothing but contempt for his whiny self-loathing that was a constant theme in his life. There was a lot that could have been done with Rowdy (Junior's former BFF), but Alexie could not get past the bully label he put on Rowdy. The only realtionship that was truly, though limited, developed was the relationship between Junior and his sister. We never really see them interact with each other, except through email, but you can feel the compassion he has for his sister and her situation. On an unrelated note, the drawings in this book are actually really cute and insightful. Sometimes I feel like I got more out of the illustrations than I got out of the story.
I think I have grown tired of just about everything in the YA genre. I look at things like The Hunger Games, The Giver Quartet, and several other books, and I remember how much I enjoyed them. But as I'm reading more and more of it, I feel like it makes me stupider or the author thinks that their reader cannot process complex thoughts. This is how Alexie's book has made me feel; like he believes his readers are too dumb for big words or complex thinking.
I am mixed on my recommendation. There were things I liked about this book, especially the look at Native American culture in Washington, but there were many other things that bothered me.
I say read at your own risk. Have you read this book? Leave a comment below with your thoughts about it.
Ratings (based on a 10 point scale)
Quality of Writing - 7
Pace - 6
Plot Development - 3
Characters - 1
Enjoyability - 3
Insightfulness - 3
Ease of Reading - 5
Photos/Illustrations - 9
Overall Rating - 2 out of 5 stars