Desire Lines is written by Jack Gantos. It is a heartwrenching fictional narrative about a young boy, Walker, who learns too much about his fellow classmates. He has always stayed in his "desire lines," his comfort zone, where he never likes to leave. When he discovers the secret of his fellow classmates it begins to take him out of his comfort zone. He doesn't know what to do. Walker finds himself backing down further and further. "Being a coward is on reputation you can never get over. You might as well pack up all your stuff, move to a new neighborhood, get plastic surgery, and start all over again like someone in a Witness Protection Program (Desire Lines p.40)." The main character realizes more about himself than he originally imagined. He is the type that strikes as taking the easy way out. The girl's involved in his secret are known as Rachel and Karen. They are both sweet girls who have one huge secret to hide. They never did anything to hurt anyone, yet they are the ones who have to deal with the consequences of a coward. The story is set during the 20th century, as the reader will note through the dialogue and the type of technology. The school that the kids attend also serves as a referral place for other schools to purchase dissection specimens. Walker has to work in this area a lot throughout the book because of the trouble that he gets into. This book is totally fiction. The author was really good about creating a visual image for the reader. He does a good job also with the realistic dialogue and situations. The theme of this book is that human nature is fleeing when something becomes too complicated for one to overcome. People who are very comfortable with reading pieces that don't fit the "norm" of society would probably enjoy this book. However, they must be willing to leave their desire lines in order to get through the entire novel. This book is unlike any other book or genre. It is nothing like a sci-fi or a comical book. It is closer to a romantic tragedy than anything else. It is different from any other book in its genre because it steps over that "comfortable" boundary that people don't normally like to cross. It tests these boundaries just to see how many people will cross this line to find out what happens. Other authors usually take a conservative viewpoint on their writings, but this author steps outside of the box. The author has good language throughout the books; there are a few minor flaws, but they are easily overlooked. His style is completely unique to anything else that I have ever personally read. I felt that the book had a great twist at the end. It is definitely worth reading to the very end. It ended exactly the opposite that I had originally hoped, but nonetheless it was a good dramatic ending. I took the book in stages while reading it. However, it was difficult for me to put down. This book is very good, and I stepped out of my comfort zone to read it. The question is, will you? Take a chance. This book is definitely worth reading.
May 21, 2009