16. BREAKAWAY, Phil Cummings, 2000
I should say right now that I have a fetish for sky-cities. Not a love of or interest in, a FETISH FOR. Super high soaring buildings make me swoon, for all their hideous impracticality. Let’s face it, they’re kinda a scifi classic. And these days I go ape over the architects and engineers who are designing their own towers of self-contained residential/commercial spaces. And the roof gardens! Connecting bridges made of glass! I swoon at it all, I swear.
*cough* But moving on. This story is about one such city of the rich people up in their towers and the poor shriveling up at ground level. Oh, and they’re abused by the police and can’t get any food. Plus there are street kids- bring on the second swoon! I love stories about street kids. Um… and the plot? The plot didn’t really make too much of an impression on me…there’s a rich family. The girl goes down to the bottom, gets lost and stuff, and gets returned to her place by the leader of some street family. The father of the family does some corporate crime and is getting sent off to some distant new colony as a punishment; the family goes with him. The son…I don’t know, he has some important feelings or something. And that street family steals some fruit and ends up on the ship to that colony too. There’s a whole lot of character relationship cross-overs and ‘hey wait, I know you’-ing going on. The point of view switches constantly.
There’s a lot of characters in this book and the plot zooms through, getting from point a to b and then on to z without any dilly dallying, and indeed, without making much point at all. In fact…was there any point at all? I’m not convinced. It was an overall very brief touching on this world. It kind of feels like a plot outline, rather than a proper book.
But here I must make what might be an obvious point. I’m a 21 year old reading a book probably aimed at low high school aged kids. Am I expecting too much? Possibly. I admit that despite my perceived shortcomings of this book I was still caught up in it and entertained, and so certainly you don’t have to be a young adult to enjoy a young adult book. But does this one in particular lack depth? If I could take this plot and give it the depth of an adult-targeted novel, with the sweeping-up power of the YA genre, what kind of wonderful book would I end up with? Just a thought for y’all.