Tuesday, March 21, 2006
L.O.S.T. is a fresh, original character-driven story that teens (and adults!) will love. In spite of some superficial similarities with Harry Potter and Star Wars, this is no wannabe. Everything about this book has teen appeal, from the irreverant tone, to the all too human characters (one with attention issues and the other with obsessive/compulsive tendencies), to the budding romance fraught with misunderstandings.
Seventeen-year-old Brendan, or Bren, is on a road trip to San Diego to visit a friend. In spite of his ADHD, in spite of his hyper-critical dad's conviction that Bren will screw up, Bren got permission to go on the trip on his own and borrow his mom's truck. So when Bren stops at Live Oak Springs Township to use the bathroom and comes out to find his mom's truck gone, Bren is sure that he's in big trouble. But the truck is the least of his worries. For Bren has been called to this town by sixteen-year-old Jasmina, or Jazz, the Queen of the Witches. Jazz believes (at least some of the time) that Bren is the only one who can save the witches from the Shadowmaster, an ancient evil determined to destroy them, She transports Bren away from the world he has always known, to another time and place where he must try to find his own magic before it’s too late.
The chapters alternate between the points of view of the two protagonists, and it’s in the characters that this book really shines. Brendan is an angry young man, his self-confidence destroyed by his ADHD and his perfectionist father. Jazz seems quite cocky at first, but underlying her surface confidence is self-doubt brought on by her own perfectionist parent and the stress of trying to run a kingdom and save it from evil at the young age of 16. She also blames herself for her father’s death and her mother’s capture. Brendan and Jazz connect almost immediately, but are driven apart time and again by misunderstandings and their own self-doubt. Can they overcome their personal demons and come together in time to save the Path from the Shadowmaster?
Wands and Worlds Small Press Month Blogfest