Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sizing up the competition...

...Well, not really. Before Max and Menna, I never anticipated myself writing young adult fiction, and so I'm trying to read as much in the genre as I can. I catching up, and falling in love with this genre, very, very quickly! So when my book was nominated for a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in the Young Adult category, I was curious to read the other books in this category. I've gotten through one so far, but can honestly say that I am honored to be nominated in the same category!

The Second Trial by Rosemare Boll is the story of Danny, who unknowingly grew up the son of an abusive, manipulative father. Danny's dad abused his mom in secret, and Danny's mom did her best to cover it up. Thus, when Danny finds himself at a trial sentencing his father for the attempted murder of his mother, he is still not even sure that the abuse ever happened... and just as he starts to understand how dangerous his father is, the man is released from prison, sending Danny, his mom, and his sister into witness protection... and starting over.

I've railed before against all YA fiction writers believing that teens are nothing but angst-filled, back-talking, selfish, juvenille kids. In the case of Danny, Boll has taken every one of those attributes and made it not only believable, but understandable, and I loved this book.

Wonderfully characterized, Danny and his mother come to life on the page, revealing an unsettling tension between them. My empathy for Danny, being transplanted into a new world after discovering that his whole life was full of lies, ran deep. Nonetheless, as a woman, I felt an enormous sympathy for his mom, who tried, above all else, to do what was best for her kids and had to watch as these decisions turned their lives upside down.

Never veering into the melodramatic or trite, the book has a straightforward prose, allowing a reader to assign his or her own feelings and assessments to these extrodinary situations instead of directing. I appreciate that, and Boll's subtley building to a climax that is muted (I keep using that word), but nonetheless powerful.

An outstanding first novel!

No comments:

Post a Comment