100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith


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I have tried to read Andrew Smith in the past and just do not like his style of writing. I think he's one of those authors you either love or hate. Maybe someone else has a good opinion?
-Pat Adams
Allenstown Public Library

If I'd realized that this was by the same author who wrote Winger, I'm not sure that I would have read it, even though it's a Flume Award nominee.
Teen Finn Easton lost his mother and was damaged by a freak accident of a dead horse falling from an overpass on its way to be made into glue, pet food, etc. He now has epilepsy and counts time in terms of the rate of distance the earth has moved.
I think annoying is the best word for the narration style, as Finn constantly harks back to the accident, the fact that his father wrote a book about a race of aliens who enter the world through a symbol that looks like the scar on Finn's back, one of whom has his name, and he counts the moments within conversations in terms of distance.
The relationships in the book seem genuine, with his best friend, with his family, with his girlfriend. I just felt annoyed, and even more annoyed that I cared enough about any of the characters to want to know how the book turned out. Also, I'd like to read a book without having to cringe over the vulgar language. Tell me that kids use that language all of the time, and I'll believe you, but, as I tell them, nobody else needs to hear it, and I don't need to read it in such excess.
Probably more of a boy book than a girl book, but I wouldn't exclude girls fans who can get past the odd writing style and vulgarity. Perfectly fine for older teens, and deals with senior year issues. I don't recommend it for the final list.
-Kirsten Rundquist Corbett, Sandown Public Library