I have been rereading some old favorites recently, but I have started a couple new books as well in the past few days. I began Damned by Chuck Palahniuk, as well as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’m a big fan of Palahniuk, so I’m definitely reading that one for my own pleasure. Zusak’s book, on the other hand, I’m reading mainly to see if it would be appropriate to include in my World War Two unit for my 8th-grade students. (We had sort of a free-for-all in allowing them to pick companion books to the Holocaust/WWII unit this year, and it ended up being rather more trouble than it was worth. Not that that affects how I might view The Book Thief. It won’t. I’m just looking for alternative plans.)
Anyhow, I’m liking Damned pretty well so far. It’s living up to the description — given by Palahniuk himself — as being “kind of like The Breakfast Club set in Hell.” There’s the jock, the princess, the nerd, the rebel, and the loner. All are in their teens, and none are willing to tell the truth about why they ended up in Hell. My sole complaint is the narrator’s tendency to repeat variations on the phrase: “Yes, I know the word [insert impressive word here]. I may be thirteen and chubby, but I’m not stupid.” As the story continues, I hope that repetition will fade.
I’ve only just begun The Book Thief, so I’m reserving judgement until I’m a little further along.
Reviews will be up with I finish!