It hurts me that it’s been over a week since I finished this and am just now getting around to writing about it.
Ok, now it’s a day after I wrote that first sentence and I swear now I’m going to write about it.
This book won a Printz honor award last week, so congratulations to you A.M. Jenkins! And well deserved. The basic plot of the story is that a spirit?being? from Hell decides to experience human life and so borrows a human body for a little while. He carefully chooses the body of a teenage boy and slips into his life. Sounds funny, right? Well, it is, but it is so much more than that. I was amused for sure by the spirit’s gaffes and mistakes as he experienced human things he’d only ever heard about secondhand before. Baths, showers, all manner of food, masturbation, feeling a breeze or sunshine–he experiences all these things like a stranger in a foregin land, or someone who’s been deaf and blind his whole life and suddenly is bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, and sensations. He even gets to experience emotion as he forms connections to Sean (the body he has taken)’s mother, brother, and best friend. His quest to experience sex could be written off as a teen sex farce, but really, give this book a try. Enjoy it just as a story, or enjoy it on other levels as you consider questions of relationships, mortality, sin, and redemption.
Oh, and Jenkins’ name for those awful people who exist in the world and pick on others? Sowers of Pain. Perfect.