Wednesday, July 6, 2016

100 Sideways Miles

Winger, Andrew. Read by Kirby Heyborne. 100 Sideways Miles. Tantor Media, 2015. Audiobook.
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Summary (from Audiobooks overview)
"Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It's how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he's a real boy and not just a character in his father's bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he's ever loved. Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny."

My Thoughts

The cursing, crude boy humor and sexual references in this book was off-putting to me.  It might be because I just finished Divine Collision, so I might be a bit sensitive to these three areas.

Several times I almost stopped listening to this book, but I didn't because I want to know:
  1. Is this what teenagers want to read about?
  2. Was it starting this way to attract readers?
  3. A boy is the narrator, but will girls want to read this?
  4. Can I recommend this book in spite of the language? (Honestly, cursing in a book doesn't usually bother me--but it did in this one, as did the "boy humor"). 
  5. Am I being too sensitive?
  6. Is this a good story in spite of the cursing, humor and references?
Finn is the narrator and is an epileptic. His seizures added a dimension to the plot, for sure.

Cade Hernandez is Finn's best friend. He's smart, but he pushes teachers' buttons (including causing Mr. Nausic (sp?). He's a trouble maker and a leader (He gets the entire class to mark the state tests with the pattern "C-A-D-E" which leads to a surprise visit from the California governor.). 

I finished the book yesterday. It did have humorous parts that weren't crude or sexual in nature. It had an interesting concept that the main character Finn and his father's fictional character Finn are actually one in the same. It had shocking moments (and I thought how life is just that--sometimes full of unexpected moments wedged inside of the regular patterns of life).  The title is explained (and reiterated) throughout the story. A "dead horse fell out of the sky and killed my mother" Finn says (Smith).

I did bookmark some things while listening, but I think I won't rehash here--I'll just leave myself some notes to remind me about this book:

  • knackery
  • Lake that Isn't a Lake (dam breaks, drowns many, including two girls that Finn "sees")
  • Aberdeen Penitentiary (This part was pretty funny!)
  • Julia is a great girl--finds Finn after a seizure and takes care of him
  • "Berlin Wall" at hotel & True Grits in Gallop, NM 
  • Van goes overboard-Cade & Finn help
  • "A Detour in the Year We Grew Up"
  • "The Lazarus Door"
  • "I am Ok" (the last chapter title)
So, the ultimate questions are "Will I recommend this book to my students?" Probably not. "Will  I buy a copy for the school library?" I haven't decided yet. I have other books by the same author, so I might check the circulation stats to see if he's a "hot" author or not.

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