Thursday, December 8, 2011

Youth and Other Fictions by Jonathan Cook and giveaway!

Jonathan Cook's debut novel looks at the horrors of a school shooting and its psychological effects on those involved. Told from two perspectives--one a student's and one a teacher's--the story reveals the inner concerns leading up to the moment when the world falls apart and the anxieties of coping with the broken pieces afterwards.

This is a book that is wholly relevant to our times, when violence of all sorts happen at schools. It seems like every day we hear about a kid being bullied enough to commit suicide, or retaliate against his tormentors in the most horrific manner.

At its core, this story is a psychological analysis of what causes a teen to be the perpetrator of an unthinkable crime. We see plot from two viewpoints: the student’s and the teacher’s. This gives us two very different perspectives and allows us to fully grasp the situation. It is chilling to see the progress, or should I say the deterioration, in the boy’s head. We see clearly what causes him to go over the edge.

The writing is clear, to the point, without too much fuss, which adds to the stark quality of the novel. There are some editing issues, but not enough to cause an issue with readers. This book is a great example of a story that will make us understand a bit more how something as awful as school violence can happen. I can recommend it to pretty much everyone.

If you'd like to win an ecopy of this book, just leave a comment with your name and email address! The giveaway will run for one week.


rhonda said...

would love to read

Mystica said...

Please count me in.


Jonathan said...

Hey, thanks for your review! I really appreciate your candid and thoughtful opinions. I'm always curious: was there a character you were particularly fond of or responded to more than the others?