I’m feeling a bit blergh about my boy book quest, partially because so many of the recommended books are dystopian fiction and it’s not my favourite genre. I did quite enjoy this one though, and for the most part its fast paced and really well thought out. The writing is beautiful and the character’s are well-drawn. It centres on a kid called Nailer, who works in the dark hollows of abandoned ships to pick out precious metals and other materials, for resale to the new version of these boats, ‘clippers’. After a “city killer” storm, a clipper washes ashore and onboard Nailer and his best friend Pima find a young woman who is barely clinging to life. They choose to save her instead of chopping off her fingers for the gold she’s wearing, and things take a scary turn from there. Nailer’s own father is a drug addict and alcoholic, who has no hesitation in taking his own son prisoner if he has to, to claim the money that comes from the find. The story follows Nailer’s escape with the girl, Nita, into a scary and unknown world, on the slim hope that she might be able to find her people and they can both be saved. I suspect some of the boys I teach might be quite into it, so this is definitely a book I’m going to field test before I write it off!
Ever since I saw the film ‘Interstellar’, I’ve become slightly fixated with stories about people living in outer space. I keenly watched ‘The Martian’ and ‘Space Between Us’, hungry for more of this weird hybrid life. Satellite has a lot in common with these films, especially ‘Space Between Us’, as they are both about a boy born in outer space who comes down to earth. ‘Satellite’ was a deeply satisfying read for me, because it gave some in-depth thought to not only what life in outer space would be like – it really considers Leo’s mental state – but also what the impact of shifting down to earth would be on the body.
I think it’s fair to assume that if you were sneaking up a hill to meet your lover and then saw the entire hill was on fire, you would take it as a sign you should go back home to your husband. Like, immediately. This is what happens to Dellarobia Turnbow in Flight Behaviour. Although it turns out the hill is not on fire, but completely engulfed by butterflies who have taken a wrong turn in their migration path due to climate change. The story does a great job of examining both big picture issues and the dull, grinding minutiae of Della’s daily life as a reluctant wife and mother. It’s a more challenging read, but once you’re into it the story really takes off, providing fantastic insight into complex environmental issues.