Fri, May 13, 2011
By Paolo Bacigalupi
May 1, 2010
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 336 pages
In America’s Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota–and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life. . . .
In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.
— Amazon.com description
This is the first young adult book I’ve read in a long time — ever? — that I’d recommend to my husband. In this book, Paolo Bacigalupi has created a brutal, vivid dystopian world that has a beautiful cinematic quality to it, which I think would really appeal to him (and to a lot of male readers, really).
It was so gritty and imaginative that you could just visualize it all. Cold, filthy, crumbling, merciless…this is not a world you’d want to live in. But it was so well-written that it seemed frighteningly real.
Something about Ship Breaker felt so unlike the books I normally read, yet I really enjoyed it. I could have done without some of the sci-fi aspects (half-men, half-dog people?), but kudos to Bacigalupi for making such an abrasive work seem appealing to a girl who usually judges a book on how much kissing is involved.
Bonus? It was a National Book Award Finalist and won the Printz Award. So, yeah, pretty good stuff.
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