CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 21 . . . . June 8, 2007
Bang is the story of Q and JD who have been friends since elementary school. They are in their second-to-last year of high school. Q isn't sure that he should still be friends with JD after JD got in some trouble the year before, but Q likes Leah, JD's twin sister, so he continues to hang out with JD. Initially, Q and JD don't get into anymore trouble than anyone else their age. One day though, they get into an argument with a guy because they are using the swings in the park. The guy threatens to report them to the police because they have been smoking pot. Soon after, Q grabs a few items out of a canteen van and is caught by the van's owner who turns out to be the guy that Q and JD were arguing with the day before. The guy tells them that he is making a citizen's arrest. But, JD has a gun.
Bang can be a bit difficult to follow at times because the narration jumps back and forth in time. At times, we are being given the narration after the events have happened, and, at other times, we get the narration as the events occur. This approach can leave readers a bit disoriented as to where they are in the story.
As is typical with a hi/lo book Bang is quite fast-paced. The slightly odd narration style makes it easier to cover longer amounts of time in a shorter space. As well, the narration style allows for more development of the character of Q who must come to terms with what he and JD have done and the consequences that follow. JD also develops a bit as a character but not as much as Q. Both JD and Q are believable in their situation, but they seem to be younger than I believe the characters are supposed to be. Since they are in their second-to-last year of high school, the main characters have to be 16 or 17 but they strike me more as 14 or 15.
Bang is a good story from Norah McClintock and “Orca Soundings” -- fast-paced with good characters and believable actions and settings.
Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a student in the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at UBC, Vancouver, BC.
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