Top critical review
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A progressive "post-adolesence" novel
on 30 June 2003
I read this book after a review in GQ magazine and found that despite it's length and drugs-orientated plot it is an effective novel. Ok, it's not The Catcher in the Rye but I believe that it's short chapters and simple plot will pave the way for the next cult teenage novel, this is the first 21st century attempt to sum up life for a teenager, to explore feelings and the ways in which we are all caught between the life we lead and the way in which we aren't necessarily happy with this life. The book falls short of having a big impact on the reader because McDonell tries to work a simple plot involving drugs and aspirations in a small teenage society together with his main character's thoughts in a short space of time. The effect this has is to leave the reader, having finished the book, unsure of the characters and with only a skeletal knowledge of their traits. On the other hand what we do learn is enough to make the book work and not become a failed attempt at a novel by a young writer.
Overall, if you enjoy post-adolesence novels like The Catcher in the Rye then you should read this book for an indication of what is to come in this genre.