CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 41 . . . . June 24, 2011
That's Dex Pratt, a 17-year-old's life turned upside down. His perfect family is gone. His entire life is thrown out the window. There are no more nice houses, new cars, the stereotypical upscale lifestyle. He's now dealing with his parents' divorce, his mother's remarriage, his father's attempt at suicide, and the list goes on. Because of his dad's suicidal attempt, Dex returns to live with his wheelchair-bound dad in a deteriorating old rental house at the back of a cornfield. Besides these problems, Dex's father has also become a drug addict as well as a marijuana grower in his own home.
With all the issues that Dex is facing, he starts to smoke marijuana. He loses touch of what is his reality and what is his imagination. Are the aliens real? Does the girl of his dreams really exist? What about the cornfield behind the rented house? The crop circle? Dex's surreal state takes away his pain, and he becomes an outsider to his own surroundings. It seems like he is watching his own movie play out before him. Or, is he the movie, and the movie is watching him?
Karen Rivers is a prolific young adult author whose books have been nominated for many literature awards. Each chapter in this novel is labeled with the date as Rivers goes back and forth in time. Some chapters are written as movie scripts. This writing style is confusing at times, but it is a realistic portrayal of Dex's life. He is confused about his state of mind, and so Rivers' writing fits in with Dex's mentality. Although the plot is difficult to grasp because of the jumps, this novel is, nevertheless, an intriguing read as it is a practical approach to the way he sees his life. The reader is left with interesting thoughts to ponder upon – what's real and what's a dream?
Alicia Cheng is a Children's Librarian at Vancouver Public Library in Vancouver, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.