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10 September 2006 @ 07:06 am
Adam Rapp's 33 SNOWFISH (4.5 stars)  

 Adam Rapp has written another crisp one. It's the language, especially, that grips you and makes you eat your tears and laughter. From the first line -- "On top of everything else, Boobie's got the clap." -- I found myself devouring each next line in search of a gem. Here are a few: 

"That hat of his was so orange it looked like it would have vitamin C in the flaps." 

"There was so much blood on Boobie's shirt you could smell the metal in it, and it wasn't coming from the baby, because the baby was cleaner than a Christmas card."

"Boobie just stopped and stood there for a minute and looked up at the sky, which was so black it was like God burnt it."

"It's like there ain't no real life inside a place if you don't got no table." 

"The sun was getting weak and everything was starting to look like metal."

Boobie, Custis, and Curl are painted with the freshest of brushes and rarest of strokes. What's particularly amazing is the way everything in this depraved world feels so cool and clean through Custis' eyes. Even though they're on the run from the police because of what Boobie did to his parents and are looking for a rich family to sell Boobie's baby brother to, he holds out hope that his gat, the Skylark, and Curl's trick money are somehow going to hold their lives together.

This novel "wasn't sad like tears are sad. It's sad like the weather is sad when you think it's spring but then one of those cold rains comes." While we don't usually get to experience the lives of the dark survivors at society's fringes, 33 SNOWFISH is Adam Rapp's way of showing us ourselves in the souls of the broken. It's clear that the more worries the heart has, the smaller and dimmer it gets, and that it might get snuffed out if not given the right amount of hope at just the right time.

queen_of_ocd: stupervenusqueen_of_ocd on September 10th, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC)
Is this Anthony Rapp's brother? I know he has a brother named Adam, but I'm not sure if this is the same one. I'll check out Amazon...
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on September 10th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
I have no idea. I loved Adam's book UNDER THE WOLF, UNDER THE DOG though.
queen_of_ocd on September 10th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
I looked him up, and yes, it's the same Adam Rapp. Very cool! His books sound good. I'll have to check them out sometime.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on September 10th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on September 10th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
Gotta check this one out. You make it sound great!
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on September 10th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
It wasn't a 5 Star, but I enjoyed it. I didn't like the way one plot thread was tied up, but other than that, it's one to read, if you're up for a darker one.
dancewriteredenzdream on September 10th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a book you have to be in the mood to read. Great info in your review.
(Anonymous) on March 12th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say thanks for your comment about this book. I am studying to be an English teacher, and I just finished the book for a paper I have to write. This book is crazy and the story is truly a tragedy. It didn't provoke tears, but it overwhelmed me with a profound sadness. We can watch all the horrific news and crazy tv, movies out there, but to read about 3 teenagers lives in such an accurate and real way makes their world seem possible and scary.
In my paper, I have to figure out how I would teach a book like this or if I would at all...this is tough.

Anyway, thanks for the review..
It's good to hear another person's opinion. Can I ask how old you are? Would you recommend this for kids in 8th or 9th grade? Older?
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on March 13th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
Re: thanks
Hey there! Glad the review was helpful. That's actually why I write them, that and so I can remember my thoughts on the books down the road.

I'm 29 and a teacher myself. I'm teaching 9th, 10th, & 11th grade English, so I'm sure that flavors my answer here. I would totally recommend this book for kids in 8th, 9th, and 10th grades. I don't know about 7th grade, probably though. It's not like many of them aren't reading stuff like that already.

All the luck in the world on your project!