Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Paranoid Park

by Blake Nelson.

When a teen skater - but a Prep, not a Streeter - first goes to an underground skatepark, he thinks it is amazing. But the next time, he and a Streeter get into a bad situation that ends in a death. An accident, but mostly his fault, and a horrible, gory accident, at that. The bulk of the book deals with the aftermath of this andhow he handles it.

The book has a really realistic feel to it, how this massive guilty secret colours everything in the kid's life, how it is never out of his mind, how he wrestles with the idea of telling, of turning himself in, and thinks about who it would affect. How he is careful, guarded, all the time and doesn't feel like he can be open to anyone, in any way, really. How frightened he is when the police ask questions. In the end, the first person narrative is composed of letters written to one person he feels comfortable with, though he doesn't really know her all that well.

This was a good book, even though it made me tense, because it keeps you in suspense. The emotions of it are clear and believable, and while it seems on the surface like it suggests you can get away with stuff, I think it really does a good job of showing how high a price you really pay on the inside and how it cuts you off from people around you, making it actually a good cautionary tale.

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