By Chris Lynch
Brief Summary: Will should have been a pilot. He knows it, but no one else seems to realize it. Instead, he’s stuck in school taking a woodshop class. Making gnomes and tables and the occasional odd-shaped something. As teens in the area start committing suicide, Will’s past begins to haunt him and he starts to question his actions and the actions of those around him. And the items he makes in shop? They take on a new meaning altogether.
Kell’s Chatty Review: Okay, blunt fact: I did not enjoy this book. Mostly because I was confused the entire time. It is written in 2nd person and pretty much remains a running inner-dialogue of Will, our troubled teen. And by “running inner-dialogue” I mean it seemed to be a circular conversation over and over and over again. Lots of repeating questions and answers.
Do I get why it won a Printz honor?: Sure. Lynch takes a chance with a seldom-used POV and depicts the inner-workings of a teen that has been through very rough times and is still going through those rough times. So, yeah. I get it. But the POV just made me feel like Will was an unreliable narrator and I was questioning his every action and non-action throughout the entire book. Maybe I was supposed to do this? I’m not sure. Which, actually, is what I like about unreliable narrators – the doubting and the questioning but…
My biggest problem: was the lack of resolution at the end. Which, obviously, it didn’t need to be all tied up with a bow, but when I finished I felt cheated of understanding what actually happened over the 148 pages I had just read. (Or that it was lacking the firm belief that Will wasn’t to be trusted with his thoughts.) Too many questions and not enough answers to make even a drop in the question bucket. There weren’t even vaguely possible answers. It just…ended. I guess this one just went over my head?
What I most wanted to do after reading this book: I read reviews to see if anyone understood it better than I. (And some people did. A lot didn’t, though.)(I still think Will was an incredibly unreliable narrator.)
Where this book came from: local library!