Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Destroy All Cars by Blake Nelson

Meet James Hoff - high school junior who doesn't drive and lately, doesn't have a girlfriend. Not a big deal, right? Well, welcome to his AP English essays...and welcome to his world...

His first assignment: a 4 page persuasive essay. James believes we must destroy all cars because:

1. It's a primitive machine that you put gas in and poison comes out. "Is it a good idea to start your car in your garage and sit beside it, reading the paper, while your garage fills up with exhaust? No. Then why would that be a good idea on global level?"

2. He's so sick of cars!!

3. The lameness of people in general because of their production and consumption of "USELESS CRAP."

His grade? They go up and down, matching his emotional state at the time. He just broke up with Sadie and the only way James knows how to deal with it is to write...and think about her...and try to hang out with friends...and think about her...

And then there's the competition. What does Sadie see in jock Will Greer? And then there's the dumpster-diving, food-eater Jedediah. Who'd want to be with someone who ate garbage you threw away - in the school cafeteria!?!

James's life is complicated. From Mr. Cogweiller's essay grading to adjusting to his father coming back home after leaving them to figuring out what he'll do after graduation to making a list of potential girls who'd want to hang out with him, James is elbow deep in everything a typical guy deals with. And what will happen with Sadie? And can the possibility of destroying all cars seriously destroy our government system? Oh, the possibilities...

Blake Nelson has written another fantastically funny and cleverly written book. James pops out of the pages and will make you laugh out loud. Rare is a book that will grab a YA that isn't about the grimmer things in life, and while a serious break-up is grim, Nelson puts a spin on this while adding issues that teens really are involved in. Perfect pairing and very on par with Jake Wizener's Spanking Shakespeare. Recommended.

1 comment:

robin_titan said...

Ooooh this one sounds REALLY good :)