Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Last Exit to Normal

Harmon, Michael. 2008. The Last Exit to Normal.

The decoder card to the universe wasn't included in the box of cereal God gave humanity. At the ripe old age of seventeen, I'd at least figured out that no matter how hard you try to guess what happens next, you can't. Life wasn't set up that way and we don't like it, so we spend most of our time running around like a bunch of dimwits.

Ben Campbell, our narrator, I must admit, is one of my favorite characters of the year. He makes this book work for me. The story itself? It's as simple and complex as life itself. Ben moves with his two fathers to a small Montana town after Ben has some emotional problems after the big reveal and its aftermath. (His father is gay; his mother moved out and away.) The three move in with Edward's mother, Bonnie Mae Ingerson. And let me tell you, Bonnie Mae is quite a character. Character with a capital C. (Just one of many reasons why I love this one!) The book is a coming of age story of a boy coming to terms with his life as it now is. It's about a boy learning that it's okay that it's not okay. It's more than that. It's about life and love; work and play; friends and enemies. It's about a boy becoming a hero, making a stand when and where he can.

I can't promise you'll love this one. (I did though.) But you should definitely give it a try.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Michele said...

I would read this one for the title alone!

Ali said...

Mike Harmon is a pretty amazing guy. Read this, if you haven't already. And if you're interested, here's my review of The Last Exit to Normal.