Friday, April 27, 2012

The Punk Ethic by Timothy Decker

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Back to music, what are songs anyway? They’re crappy little stories. And there are two kinds: the whiny confession. Which suck. And the fictional story. Which suck. All this strumming and singing is a waste. I’m tired of wasting time. I don’t want to tell anybody anything about me. That’s stupid. I don’t want to invent some story. I don’t want to be entertaining. That’s stupid.

I have to do something. Wake up, Martin. Go start something. Go!

If you want to rock, you come out swinging. Well, Martin Henry just made a fist.

Challenged by a teacher to actually “do” something, Martin walks a minefield of idiot friends, an unfathomable Dream Girl, high school, and relative pennilessness to prove that he can change the world.

The funny thing about change, it screws up everything.

 I made a promise to myself at the end of last year that this would be the year of male authors for me.  Not that I would dismiss female authors but that I would make a concerted effort to read books written by men.  As usual I have sucked at sticking with my resolution.

As of April 8, 2012, I have only read 4 books written by men.  That is a sad state of affairs in my opinion.  Something I need to rectify, like yesterday.  Fortunately the books written by male authors that I HAVE read have been fantastic. There was TFIoS by John Green and then Boy Meets Boy and The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan.  The fourth one – and the focus of this review - was the Punk Ethic by Timothy Decker.  And all I can say is that Timothy Decker is worthy of being in the same company as Green and Levithan any day of the week and twice on school nights and weekends. 

Martin Henry is a smart-a** punk kid that is pretending to skate through school.  I say pretending because he does his homework and his grades are good.  But if he had his way, you would think he is a rebel without a cause.  Oh wait, thanks to his English teacher’s challenge, he DOES have a cause.  Martin decides to do something “really desperate”.  Something “that’s pathetic, rock-bottom kind of pathetic”.  He’s going to stage a benefit concert to raise money for his newfound cause.  No, I won’t tell you the cause.  That’s a secret that is only given to those smart and angsty enough to read this book.  Oh, and Bel, because I told her.   

This book isn’t just about Martin’s “pathetic” benefit concert.  This book is also about Martin’s social ineptitude and what it takes to finally get him to realize that his life isn’t as bad as he seems to think and maybe, just maybe, there are other people out there with problems worse than his.  In spite of being socially inept, I absolutely loved Martin.  Not in our usual book-boyfriend way, but in a what-a-hilarious-angsty-little-s**t sort of way.  His reaction to adults and his interaction with his friends is just…so…teenage boy.   

I highly recommend this story.  I smiled at every page of this book.  And a book that makes me smile that often is a gem indeed.   


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