More YA! Are you sick of me yet? I have 2 more reviews to post after this and then I promise to leave y’all alone. This is what happens when I bring six books on vacation and read every one of them…
“To me, religion is the Walmart of spirituality … I mean it’s prepackaged. Lowest common denominator. People just have to follow the present motions and rituals and rules. The don’t have to think about how the words reconcile with their own hearts. Their own experience.”
I have no idea why I picked up The Porcupine of Truth, except for the fact that was called The Porcupine of Truth. I was very pleasantly surprised though, and if you like YA like Andrew Smith or A.S. King or other slightly weird people who write about minorities and gay kids and nitty gritty real-life stuff, you’ll probably like this too.
It starts with our hero, Carson Smith, whose mother has relocated him from New York City to Billings, Montana for the summer. His father, whom Carson has not seen in 14 years, is alcoholic, and dying. On his first day in Montana, Carson meets a girl named Aisha who has run away from home after her family kicked her out. They bond quickly and begin to dig into Carson’s family’s past to find out what exactly happened to his grandfather, who disappeared when Carson’s father was very young. It turns into a rather epic road trip (that you have to suspend a little bit of belief for because anyone else’s mother would have called the cops 24 hours in, but just go with it). The book tackles a lot of really heavy things, including racism, homophobia, AIDS, alcoholism, depression and religion. It’s all handled very well, and Carson’s offbeat sense of humor brings a lot of light to what could have been a very dark story. Again, highly recommend this one. It has a fantastic ending and I’m so glad that it had a weird enough name to grab my attention.