Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hero: A Novel - Perry Moore

"I never thought I'd have a story worth telling, at least not one about me. I always knew I was different, but until I discovered I had my own story, I never thought I was anything special. My destiny began to unfurl during my very last game at school. What started with an accident on the court ending with the single most devastating look I ever got from my father. And it made me want to die."
Thom's life has been changing. He's realized he likes dudes in non-platonic kind of way, he's being followed by someone someone who now knows he likes guys, he's shot up several inches and started getting serious seizures, and he's also discovered that he just might have some superpowers. A big no-no in a house where his father has banned any and all superhero references. You see, his father was Major Might, a superhero that fell from grace in a very public, horrifying, and disfiguring way. After the "incident" Thom's mom started fading into the background, until one day she disappeared completely. So when Thom gets the opportunity to try out for The League, the it superhero group (and the same one that his father belonged to before his disgrace) he just adds that to the growing pile of secrets that he's keeping from his father.

At the tryouts Thom gets assigned to a probationary crew. Among them, Typhoid Larry, who's superpower is that he literally gets people sick when he touches them; Scarlett, who refuses to take off her stained, dirty pizza delivery jacket; Ruth, an old lady with an ever present cigarette; and Golden Boy a sidekick who's in charge of training them (and who seems to have it in for Thom). A motley crew indeed.

Whoo! What a fun story! I really enjoyed the reality that the author created for the story. He uses characters that we're familiar with (Warrior Woman is based on Wonder Woman, Justice is Superman, etc.) and then changes them for the purpose of his story. It was fun trying to figure out what was real, who was really a superhero and who was potentially a villain in disguise. I was suspicious of several characters that were cleared by the end of the story. I figured out the secret identity of a couple of the main characters far before Thom did and although I thought he should have figured it out sooner, that's just sort of nit-picking.

It was funny, it was touching (especially the resolution between Thom and his father), and it was satisfying seeing Thom come into his own. Its one of those rare YA novels that will be enjoyed equally, if not more, by adults. And did I mention its funny? It was. Very.

Too bad I couldn't find an image of the cover online. Its a good one. Although I did discover the author was elevated to the coveted status as one of the Hot Men of Children's Literature on Fuse #8 awhile back.


Michelle said...

Oooh that sounds really, really good! Save that one for me so that I can read it 3 years from now. I got Off Season in the mail today so I'm already being very, very bad!

Jonny said...

it was a good book. I thouroughly enjoyed it!