Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Trouble by Gary Schmidt

The book title happens to be Trouble and I can tell that my opinion of this novel by Gary Schmidt is going to get me into trouble with my fellow bloggers. I've already read several rave reviews, one by the lovely Miss Erin, completely adoring the story and falling in love with the characters. Unfortunately, I just do not agree, though I guess that's why it's fun to read each other's reviews!

When a pickup truck, driven by a Cambodian student that attends the local prep school strikes Henry's brother Franklin, a high school sports star, Trouble really does come to this small town and this prominent family. All sense of normalcy flies out the window after the accident that results in Franklin losing his arm and being left in a coma. Henry is no longer sure how to act around his family, let alone his classmates. The fact that it was a Cambodian immigrant that struck Franklin leaves huge racial tensions at the school and creates another rift within his Henry's family.

Not sure what to do with himself, Henry sets off to climb Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine, which he had originally planned to do with Franklin. Henry and Black Dog, the stray he rescued from drowning, set off to complete this difficult journey, without telling a soul. On his trek, Henry learns a lot about himself, why he thinks the way he does, as well as about his family and their many issues.

I think Trouble is just a book that I didn't really get, simple as that. It seemed like all the characters were just there to take a place, rather than coming across as real people. I didn't connect with any of them and I didn't come away from reading this book with any emotion. As happened with Looking for Alaska (which Becky and I have chatted about several times :-) ), lots of bloggers love this book, I am just not in agreement..which is ok! We don't always have to agree!


Erin said...

Aw, sorry you didn't like it! I've had that happen to me, EVERYONE loves a book and I just...don't...get it. :)

Becky said...

Amanda, you're not alone!!! I'm right there with you. I just didn't like this one.

Ms. Yingling said...

I don't like Gary Schmidt usually-- not bad stuff, just doesn't hit themes that are of interest to me or my students. Completely did not get The Wednesday Wars.