Unifinished Book: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Doctorow's book had so many people calling it both IMPORTANT and thrilling that I felt obliged to pick it up. Which I did, from the school library. It's been next to my bed for a couple years now and I never got more than a hundred twenty-some pages in. When I was reading it, I found it compelling (the politics---the tech manages to be both still-futuristic and already-dated), but when I set it down, I would forget all about it. So I'm calling it quits.
That said, it's still a book I would recommend to young readers who maybe don't get the references in this title and the main character's nom de hack w1n5t0n. Because it's a thriller, we send w1n5t0n to Miniluv before a hundred pages have passed, then let him loose to start forming The Brotherhood with his teenage buddies.
Politics I like. Exciting pacing. Even takes place in a well captured Bay Area. Surprised I didn't just power through? Me too. But I think the first-person narrator was part of the problem for me. Even though it's obligatory for YA lit these days, I'm a bit sick of it. And for a Nineteen Eighty-four pastiche, it's a bizarre choice. It limits how broken the protaganist can become which limits the amount of risk he can possibly undergo. In other words, the choice of first-person necessitates jetissoning a large measure of suspense and danger. In other words, it makes the novel much much safer. And that, I think, undercuts the politics and the pacing leaving a moral-of-the-story, characters I hopefully like totally love, and some good pizza recommendations for next time I'm in the Mission.