Monday, September 8, 2008

Bookends: Johnny Hazzard

This is the 25th post of this blog.

Johnny Hazzard by Eddie de Oliveira
Every summer since his parents split up, Johnny and his sister Lydia leave Austin, TX, to spend summers in London with their father. Johnny doesn't really look forward to this time away from home -- he's not comfortable being a foreigner and leaving all his friends behind. As much as he likes his dad, summers are usually pretty boring for him. Except this year he meets a girl, an older girl named January, and pretty soon he's got a serious girlfriend who skateboards -- and he's totally into her. Life changes. It's no longer about being cool or finding the hottest girl or just losing his virginity; it's more than that. And the questions and needed answers only grow when Johnny's family takes a mini-vacation to Belgium.
At the beginning of this book, I thought it might be an OK read, but the more I read, the less interested I became, and I almost considered not finishing it. About halfway through the author, spent a good number of words and pages on philosophical history about war, and when the family takes a trip to Belgium to see history, there are many more reflections on war and wars. Good points, but distracting after so much of it. The war provides a contrast against his newfound happiness at being in a relationship, but it doesn't actually work very well in the book. Nevertheless, it is a coming of age book for guys, and it might be more interesting in that regard. The relationship between January and Johnny almost hits reality. There are a few sex scenes.
I should possibly point out that some readers have given this book great reviews.

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