know. I know! I’ve become that guy who’s always in your comments, all Ur blog sux! Then stop. Reading. It.
So, I don’t really like YA, which is probably not news to you. I think I do, but I also think I like going to the gym when I kind of hate sweating (who knew?). I’m always picking up books because they look winsome, and then loving everything except that niggling je ne sais quois that makes all YA a bit dingy for me. It’s like not being able to describe that flavor you hate (grated soap? Hiking socks) that ruins everything, except with flavors I know it’s cilantro and I can ask the waiter to leave it out. With books, I can’t even put my finger on it, so I’m going to call it the Young Adult Complex and start diagnosing books on a sliding scale. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas has a fairly mild case – far from fatal, but somewhat hampering quality of life.
On the other hand, it also has a hefty load of Tragic Ending, and I have got some serious whatever-shadenfreude’s-non-sadistic-cousin is. Melancholy, in the old-fashioned sense? I appreciate a good Tragic Ending, and hate when cop-out epilogues bring beloved characters back to life just to appease people. Are we still talking about Striped Pajamas? What time is it, and where are my pants? *gets off soapbox*
SO! I can never find time for movies, and books fit better into the day’s small cracks, so I picked this up rather than go check out the film. The inside flap is all, We’re not going to tell you about the plot of this book because we think you should just read it. Clever ploy, Inside Flap, but I am about to thwart you. TBitSP is about a wee Churman laddie who moves with his family to just outside of Auschwitz so his Herr Father can be Herr Kommandant. The wee laddie takes to patrolling the outer limits of the fence, and strikes up a friendship with a skinny, bald-headed boy on the other side.
And you know it’s not going to end well. Point me to one Holocaust book that ends in hugs and margaritas, and I will buy you a Facebook Beer. But the thing is, the way in which it doesn’t end well will bitch-slap you. So brace yourself.
And there are books that I’m looking forward to reading to my chilluns because I love them now/loved them once but am now too old to find Little Bear mentally stimulating, and then there are books that I’d read to my kids because they would feel nice on the tongue, and they have a Stimulating Message. This is the latterer. It has those quaint repetitive bits that an author like Lemony Snicket does so well, and that make reading aloud worth doing. It’s also a decent Intro to Man’s Inhumanity to Man without being too horrific. So, future considerations, I guess.
Seven caterpillars for now.