I’m what they call a Gray Grouper. The Red Groupers are the junkies and the Blue Groupers are the suicide kids.
Steve Nugent is in a facility called Burnstone Grove. It’s a place for kids who are addicts, like Shannon Lynch, who can stick $1.87 in change up his nose, or for kids who have tried to commit suicide, like Silent Starla, whom Steve is getting a crush on. But Steve doesn’t really fit in either group. He used to go to a gifted school. So why is he being held at Burnstone Grove? Keeping a journal, in which he recalls his confused and violent past, Steve is left to figure out who he is by examining who he was.
First of all, the cover.
Who the heck decided that this should be the cover to a book? It just looks creepy to me.
I really liked the way the story really revolved around this characters, in a way that really lets you get to know all of them. Think of this as The Perks of Being a Wallflower except with darker themes. Definitely not a children’s book, though it may seem like it.
Now, I think Steve is a great main character, but I find it hard to like him as a character. I had a really neutral relationship with him as a character throughout the entire book, trying to figure him out. In a way, I can see him as a modern-day Holden from the Catcher in the Rye. Which puts this book in good terms with me because I actually really liked the Catcher in the Rye.
Moving on, the little things were what really bugged me in this book. I could not get over the name Shannon on a boy. I’m sorry, and normally I’m all for unique names, but this time I kept thinking that Shannon was a girl when he wasn’t. And that was just weird, trying to sort that out. Actually, I liked Shannon a lot more than Steve because of his personality. Shannon was cooler, I guess. When you can see the entirety of someone’s mind, you can draw on everything about them and then decide if you like them. So I guess I’m not being fair to Steve, but I still like Shannon more.
Other than the little things, this book was actually quite funny and true. Adam Rapp has a good way of writing ugly things and making them….something better, I guess. Not necessarily covering up the truth but writing the truth in a beautiful way. Steve’s story is really personal and at times the moments that Adam Rapp can write are haunting. I was impressed. Even though I didn’t really like Steve, I respected him. He’s had a lot to deal with in his story, and as he matures and grows to build relationships with other people, it was nice to see him grow past the things that have happened.
This book had this weird combination ability to make you mentally laugh, mentally cry and empathize with the characters. Mental crying is different from really crying. Mentally crying is when you feel like you should be crying because what you just read or saw was so beautiful or horrifying, but you’re not. Same thing with mentally laughing. There were a few moments when this book brought a smile to my face, but mostly it just made me mental laugh and grossed me out at the same time. 4 stars.
One of my favorite quotes from this book: “It’s okay. Crying is like rain. It makes the grass grow in your soul.”
pg count for the hardback: 320
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]