It’s 1988. On a morning unlike any other at a suburban high school in Vancouver, 3 teens attempt to achieve the highest kill count in the history of school shootings. Flash forward 11 years into the future; the incident has more or less been forgotten by most but remains ingrained in the memories of a select few closest to the tragedy.
I was really enjoying this book; I could go so far as to say I was loving it. However, right up to about the halfway point, something so insane occurred that it took me completely out of the story and nearly ruined the entire novel for me. Coupland spends a decent amount of time building a world in which I bought in to, characters that I truly felt sorry for. He then throws this ridiculously unnecessary event that wasn’t even needed! I’ll tag a spoiler at the end so I can complain about it.
That being said, I really did like the characters in this novel. Well, aside from Reg, but you're not supposed to like him anyway. I have this thing with overly self-righteous parent figures that can drive me up the wall. I think it comes from having a few in my family, however, I'm not going to subject you to that.
In terms of writing, it had its fair share of memorable quotes and passages. I can complain all I want about that one problem, but Coupland proved he has some serious writing chops.It has been drilled into us that to feel fear is to not fully trust God. Whoever made that one up has never been beneath a cafeteria table with a tiny thread of someone else’s blood trickling onto their leg.Trust me, you spend a much larger part of your life being old, not young. Rules change along the way. The first things to go are those things you thought were eternal.
Those two, especially the latter, really connected with me. Hey, I'm not exactly old (27 years old, here) but I'm starting to get that outlook. I understand exactly where he's coming from.
As iffy as I felt after reading this novel, I’m really excited to try something else of Coupland's. I thoroughly enjoyed his style, I hope that he's bound to impress me. There was enough within these pages to draw me back for another round.
Okay, so I can believe that Jason needed Barb to marry him before he fathered her child(ren). What I have a hard time believing is what followed. For starters, that Barb actually agreed to it and flew to Vegas with Jason to fulfill his wishes. And second, the worst part, is that totally unnecessary murder! I actually said out loud, “What?!” when it occurred. I was so distracted by how ridiculous it was that it nearly ruined the whole thing. I’m still mad about it! It took what could have been a 4.5 to 5 star experience right down to a solid 3.