JUNE - SPOILERS - Little Brother
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It's aimed at a difference audience (teens) with all its angst (bully at school, misunderstanding between friends, skipping school, "parents don't understand me," etc.) so it's not getting 9/10 stars but it's certainly getting 8/10 due to the story and story-telling itself. They make up for the angst.
Oh dog, and the Kindle version is free on the Project Gutenberg site...
Curse you both. LOL
I enjoy it as a novel although as mentioned in the various praises at the front it's not without flaws. HS is barely believable that they'd go quite that far, they aren't generally comprised of evil people, merely those doing a job. A few people and contacts just fall too readily and conveniently together, the whole romance angle is poor, although at least it is there, and the girls are as capable as Marcus. But it certainly isn't implausible either.
Any thoughts on the underage sex issue? realistic? not a problem? conveys the wrong impression?
Anyone on Charles and Drew's side? that security is worth any cost, even if it's inept at times. Don't question them for they know what they're doing?
Profiling remains a vexatious issue even today - not quite so closely tracked as in the novel - but police stop and search powers are not used randomly, neither are airport security shakedowns.
And I dislike the book stores he chooses to support in the ebook version. Amazon seems particularly less than friendly given the other options he could have picked. Any book store with a loyalty card is profiling you. Amazon doens't even give you the perks.
What age would you let/encourage your children to read it?
The underage sex didn't really strike me, it wasn't prominent, and what happened, as far as I remember, suited the mood of the characters and events rather than sought titillation.
Security is worth A LOT.
IMHO a huge chunk of human experience & history is about trade-offs between the aspirations of the individuals, and the compromises needed to exist within groups that give them some form of security and hope for a better life than the "nasty, brutish and short" variety.
But what many politicos are currently trying to sell to us as "security" is largely populist scare-mongering exploitative of old instincts to fear the unknown and put one's own bloodline and extended group above others in times of real or perceived hardship, barely a few steps above outright calls to holy war.
No real opinion regarding the bookstores. The brick & mortar ones I probably won't see except maybe 1-2, in just as many times in my life unless big changes occur. Many love to malign Amazon, and there are real problems with some of their practices (hello tax evasion, censorship, sometime dubious employee treatment, etc...) though hopefully public scrutiny makes them get away with less than they'd like, yet they've been granting me for years a much wider access to books that were sometime a pain to get a hold of otherwise.
I think I would recommend it from age 13 and up, maybe ? That's around when I'd have been introduced to excerpts of Brave New World and the like at school and that would have been a quite readable, updated expansion on the subject.
My parents were never of the "no, you can't read that yet" school and let me have have free run of the bookcases, and I'd probably do likewise with some advice when solicited / welcome. Stuff that wasn't "my age" just went well over my head and made me put the book back for now, or remained largely unnoticed while I enjoyed the rest of the book.