My Chemical Mountain by Corina Vacco

My Chemical MountainMy Chemical Mountain by Corina Vacco

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Corina captures the voice of adolescent boys like no author I’ve read. Written in the first person, from Jason’s point-of-view, we live the crazy ideas, crazy acts and crazy thoughts of the three protagonists as they careen through their teens. The boys do what boys do, i.e. indulge in gross stuff, living life like they’re immortal. Why else would they swim in a creek that smells and is so polluted, it’s different colors at different times of the day.

Jason seethes in a kind of constant low-level anger. Charlie is the immortal athletic beyond all reason, a veritable hulk. Cornpup is sick, glorying in his contaminated body. The fourth character in the story is the environment, nasty from the first page.

The plot doesn’t build tension to a climax in the traditional mode of storytelling. It starts out tense and stays that way until the climax, a valid characterization of the boy’s lives. It’s a tale that’s comic, sad and tragic. Evil surrounds this community in the guise of corporate necessity and profit.

As a minor comment, I was somewhat disappointed that Jason’s girlfriend, Val, had no voice in the story. Regardless, this is a book for anyone interested in saving our planet.

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