Friday, April 09, 2004

Breaking Point--Alex Flinn

Paul is an outsider. He's been homeschooled most of his life and doesn't have much contact with people. His mother has kept him isolated, moving the computer to the family room so he can't spend time in any chat rooms talking to anyone else. She means well, she truly does love him and want to protect him, but her overbearing need to keep him close just makes him rebel. He is drawn to the wrong crowd, refusing to see their dangerous behavior as anything bad. He is so blinded by his need to fit in and to be popular that he cannot see how he is nothing more than a tool. The enigmatic charming leader of the group, Charlie, uses Paul's insecurities and vulnerabilities to make him do the unthinkable--blow up the school. Charlie is very persuasive, but Paul has the chance to refuse, numerous times, and ultimately fools himself into thinking that it would be okay, that no one would get hurt.

Charlie Good is not a good guy. He is cruel and manipulative. But Paul is almost worse--he has a conscience, he knows the difference between right and wrong, but decides to ignore it so he doesn't lose his "friends." Peer pressure is a powerful force, but everyone has the choice to say No.

All in all I enjoyed this book, although Paul's stubborn blindness and stupidity became annoying. This is Flinn's second novel examining a "bad guy" and showing both sides of the story without giving anyone excuses. As in her first novel, Breathing Underwater, Flinn shows how a good kid can make the wrong decisions and why his life experiences might lead him there, but in the end he is the responsible party. Just because we can understand what led up to Paul's decision, doesn't mean that's an excuse or that his actions were okay.

Just Finished Reading: Breaking Point--Alex Flinn
Reading: I think I'll start that Qin book
On My Nightstand: Same as before!

Previous or Next

No comments:

Blog Archive