Monday, December 13, 2010

I Will Save You by Matt de la Pena

Kidd doesn't want to remember his past, but sometimes he's forced to.  Now part of a group home for teens, his counselors ask him to remember.  Maria is the one Kidd likes the most but now she's.  But he remembers their sessions, and tries very, very hard to take her advice.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Now, he's bound and locked away for pushing someone off a cliff.  And he has all the time in the world to think about his life, from beginning to end....

Kidd remembers his mother, whom he lived with and loved very much.  And a father who tried to love, but used his fists instead.  He remembers seeing Mr. Red, Maria's friend, for the first time at Horizons, in his floppy sombrero and tie.  He remembers Maria telling Kidd to stay away from Devon.  But he's the only guy in Horizons who helped out Kidd, even though it may have hurt.  But he also loves flirting with danger and death - it's a thrill ride Devon can't pass up on and one Kidd isn't too sure he wants to experience.

And one day, Kidd just walks out of Horizons, intent on finding a new life....He ends up finding Mr. Red again, who works at a campsite in Encinitas.  Red hires Kidd on, and now all Kidd wants is a normal life.  A hard worker, he does everything Red asks and more.  He knows this won't last long, especially when Devon shows up and starts causing problems. 

Devon takes Kidd on adventures, but they're dangerous and life-threatening.  Kidd doesn't understand how Devon knows so much about him and what he's thinking, but even if he is dangerous, Devon makes sense.  But then again, so does Mr. Red, who's the nicest guy Kidd ever met.  But the person who changes his life is Olivia....

Some people have scars on the outside, some on the inside.  Devon and Olivia have a lot of similarities, and that makes each one trust the other.  And Kidd is determined to keep Olivia away from Devon, even if it means breaking all ties with him.  Devon isn't about the leave....and one night, when the grunions come onto the beach, when Kidd and Olivia are sitting by the cliff, the dark comes out.  But is the dark there to hurt or help Kidd? 

Matt de la Pena is one of those authors who gets it right everytime.  This book combines different voices in the form of diaries to flashbacks, to stream of consciousness to the present, all from the main character.  De la Pena also combines characters that are in direct contrast with each other, from the privileged, to the lost; the capable to the troubled.  It's the striking use of contrast that makes this book such a good read.  It doesn't bog down, but instead makes the reader become incredibly close to Kidd, Red, and Devon.  And it will definitely keep the reader in suspense until that sudden epiphany happens, when the reader is slowly drawn into the reality of what is happening in the novel.  It will pull you and keep you turning the pages.  One of the best I've read this year.

1 comment:

Catherine Stine said...

Sounds good! I've always wanted to write a novel based in a theraputic boarding school or detention center. This is my cuppa joe!