The Alex Crow (2000)
The Alex Crow (2000)
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4.37 of 5 Votes: 4
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English
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I am usually all about giving kudos to books with strong boy appeal because I think that they tend to be in short supply. I am also usually a fan of Andrew Smith and his books, but I have to say this one really fell flat. The quote by Terry Brooks on the back sums up my take on the book perfectly ... "I found myself saying over and over again, 'Where in the heck is he going with this?'."The main character is Ariel, a 15-year-old who has escaped to America from a warn-torn village. We don't exactly no where the village was, but we do know that he lost both his parents as a result of the events. He has landed with the Burgesses, and now has a "brother" (Max) whose birthday is only a few days apart from his own, which leads to constant references in the family to their being twins. The Burgesses also have a pet crow named Alex Crow. The crow is actually named after a ship that had been on an arctic mission that went terribly bad. The crow has been reinvented, which Mr. Burgess indicates that it means an extinct species who has been brought back and has artificial intelligence. Since crows aren't near to being extinct, this made no sense to me.On another parallel line, the story has jumped to his first summer with the family. He has actually been sent off to a really bizarre summer camp called Camp Merrie-Seymour for Boys, which seems to swap sessions for troubled boys with being a fat camp. The other kids are quirky and this plotline seems to be there for comic relief and to touch on bullying. With that said, it seems to be more about masturbation and fart jokes than actually being a plot that holds its own.Finally, readers get a chance to explore the Alex Crow incident referred to above through journal entries of the ship's doctor. This was intriguing, but also seemed unimportant other than to help explain the title and the stretched out connection to the family's pet crew.This book has gotten rave reviews, and I have to admit that I just didn't get it. I am not sure why. I kept reading in the hopes of it making more sense or becoming more interesting, but it just seemed to wander around its three plots without really having much of a payoff in the end. Ultimate, you probably get that I was really disappointed in this one. Eek! This wasn't my favorite, sorry Lara! I generally like how Andrew Smith just throws random things together into an awesome story, but the things thrown together didn't connect well for me. Ariel was very interesting and his story was very sad. I liked Max and Cobie a lot, but I wish they were developed a little more, that they shared their stories more with Ariel too. The melting man just made me feel gross, which I know is kind of the point, but sometimes I don't want to feel gross, haha. I don't know, I still liked it, but definitely not my favorite Andrew Smith.
Reviews
Rozanna
So hard not to judge a book against an author's previous works...but I clearly can't help it.
CLambert
the best teen book i've read all year, probably two years.
lydia
Good but too dark and violent for the age group I serve.
bre
This cat is a genius! I love him.
Squidgy
As weird as advertised.
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