Thursday, April 30, 2009

Recent Reads: Fragments

Book: Fragments by Jeffry Johnston
Book Count: 4

Chase is a junior in high school and he wakes up each morning not able to completely remember it. The accident that took the lives of four of his friends. He was the sole survivor. Him and the drunk driver who hit them.

Everyone is on edge around Chase. His parents continually ask how he is, though they detach themselves from his answer. The people at school are overly nice to him, but he just wants to be treated normally.

When the memory flashes from the accident lead to him recalling other memories. Darker memories, Chase begins to panic, because he would rather remember the horrible night of the accident than the ugly past he thought he'd moved on from. But for him to move on, he has to face the truth. About what happened and just how involved he really was.

The overall story was compelling and unexpected. I didn't know where it was leading, but I wanted to find out. My only issue: it took me a while to get a handle on the overall voice of the narrator. As I read, the way the character spoke and thought, it didn't seem to be like a normal 16-17 year old boy. It seemed too mature in some places, but too childlike in others. It isn't until the story came to a close and I'd put the book down, letting the tale resonate in my mind for a while that I understood the character better. And maybe that was the point here. It wasn't about "getting it" as soon as I was done reading. It was about looking at the bigger picture and finding out that what you see isn't always what you get, and what you get isn't always what you want.

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