June 12, 2012

The Son of Rage and Love by Thomas Raymond

The Son of Rage and Love12 Year-old Daniel used to run, jump, and climb on everything in sight. He played, laughed, made all kinds of noise, took things apart, and built new stuff from the pieces. Unfortunately for him, such acts of nonconformity can make inconvenient ripples on the smooth surface of wealthy suburban bliss. Years ago, Daniel was judged to have ADHD, and soon, "Pills fixed all that. They quiet most of my imagination, and the video swallows up whatever’s left."

Nowadays, Daniel just wants a little adventure, a bit of unscripted life to clear up the fog of his mundane existence. Every aspect of his life is under strict control of a narcissistic Grandmother, and the minions she hires to run the house. Disillusioned with the "remoras" who worship his mother's money and fame, and certain his older sister is becoming one of them, Daniel has all but given up hope. "I've learned not to fuss . . . A fuss is a big mistake. . . . At least I am smart enough to just take the pill and wait for the fog to roll in." But years of heavy medication coupled with long escapes into video games have turned his world to grey, blurring his perception of reality versus fantasy.

When Daniel's mother adopts a 13 year-old, free-spirited orphan, the two boys become immediate friends and allies. The absolute authority of Grandmother is finally challenged. The ensuing struggle at once gives Daniel hope, but also threatens his sanity.

My Thoughts/Review:

I really liked this book. It had great characters, and the writing was amazing. Daniel's character was great, because he was innocent, yet he knew everything was going wrong, and he really doesn't have ADD, but was just diagnosed with it when he was a little kid. I mean, all little kids are hyper. They love to jump around, and play, and any other thing that might possibly get on your nerves. It is their way of life.

Back to Daniel. I really liked the way that Daniel described the fog, and the little pink pills. It made me think that he wasn't always in the fog, and that he might want a way out. A way to just be a kid, without all the little pink pills, and therapists. I think Jean-Maurice added an interesting element to this story, because I've never read a book about a celebrity's kid that had an adopted brother from Haiti.

Also, Daniel's grandmother is holding all the puppet strings. She's pulling them to make people do what she wants, and they have to do it or else they'll be reprogrammed. *Ominous laugh*

I have a serious case of writer's block today, guys. Sorry.

This book was sad, happy, and also really, really...different. No one else has really explored this in the YA realm. It makes this book unique, that's for sure, but it also makes it something that you might need a bit of a nudge to read. A nudge like this: I would recommend it to fans of Adios, Nirvana.

So, all in all, this book was very, very good, with a side of awesomesauce. :P

*This book was provided by the author for review.*
Favorite Quote:
When the haze finally thins out enough to see for a moment, the world doesn't look like I remember. I reckon I've spent so much time staring into the video, the bright, electronic parade flashing in my eyes, that the real world doesn't look right anymore.

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