Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Punkzilla-- Adam Rapp
Punkzilla is Jamie, a 14 year-old boy who lives the crustpunk, street kid life in Portland, OR. After his militant, homophobic father enrolls him in military school, small-for-his-age and androgynous looking Jamie runs away in hopes to find a better life for himself. He lives in abandoned warehouses in Portland with other kids, and writes letters to his gay and dying of cancer brother, Peter. Peter sends Jamie bus money, so he can come visit him in Tennessee before he dies. Most of this story is told through Jamie's unique letter writing style, as Jamie writes letters to Peter he never plans to send, describing his bus journey and what the life of a Punkzilla is like.
I have to say, this book was intriguing but a bit challenging to read. Adam Rapp really does a good job writing in Jamie's style. I truly felt like I was experiencing things through Jamie's perspective, and even though the lack of punctuation and made-up words were sometimes a stumbling block, they made the story richer. This isn't a feel-good story, and the content might be better suited for older teens, but its grittiness isn't over-the-top or inappropriate for the story Rapp was trying to tell. It's one of those books that will linger with you for a while, for better or worse.