Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Suckerpunch by David Hernandez

“At the funeral for Oliver’s father, I daydreamed about killing my own.”  So begins Marcus’ narrative of his summer before senior year.  Marcus’ father has abandoned his family and his best friend’s father just committed suicide, setting the stage for Marcus and Oliver’s illicit drug use and desire to escape.  Set in contemporary Cerritos, California, this novel features an attention-grabbing start and gathers steam as Marcus, his brother, and Oliver plan to find and confront Marcus’ dad.  Hernandez’s  use of  fresher imagery and dialogue remain consistent, but the story’s momentum peters out in the last third. This book may appeal to teen male readers ready for conversations about author’s craft.  Suckerpunch pairs interestingly with Last Night I Sang to the Monster on the themes of brotherhood and teen substance abuse, or Fitz on the theme of confronting absent fathers.--Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Hernandez, David.  Suckerpunch.  New York: HarperTeen, 2008.

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