Dane Washington and Billy D. couldn’t be more different. Dane is clever and popular, but he’s also a violent rebel. Billy D. has Down’s syndrome, plays by the rules and hangs out with teachers in his lunch break.
But Dane and Billy have more in common than they think – both their fathers are missing.
They’re going to have to suck up their differences and get on with helping each other. There are answers to be found.
Powerful, funny, moving – the ultimate coming-of-age novel.
This book was an interesting one for me but I will start this review as I seem to be starting a lot of them recently; by being very superficial.
The cover of this book is gorgeous! It feels nice and it keeps in with the theme/branding created with her other book Butter (which I loved!). It even feels nice to the touch, which is a weird thing to say but bookish people will totally understand! Just feel a book with raised text on it and shudder with excitement! (Too far? Maybe!)
Lange’s follow-up to the very issue driven Butter is, once again, picking up on hot button issues and making a conscious decision to make the reader an active part of the book. You make the judgements here. You think about what you have done that connects you to the main character etc. It’s incredibly clever.
Having Dane as a main character is potentially problematic for both Lange and the reader. While I’m of a mind where main characters don’t necessarily have to be likeable, they do have to be compelling and driven with motives that we can get behind. Dane is complex in every sense of the word. While you don’t agree with his methods of hitting people/lashing out, you do root for him. Lange has quite a talent for creating very three dimensional characters that provoke you into thought but I, at many moments, had to take a step back from the book to think about whether what was going on was okay to me or not. I even found myself, at points, trying to detach myself from Dane at his most aggressive moments, making it one of the most unique reading experiences I have ever had.
On the whole, this novel was unique and special in many ways. Though not as wonderful as Butter it stands as a brilliant follow up that will really get people talking. Lange is fast becoming one of my favourite authors to read and I look forward to Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah with buzzy, bookish excitement!