Saturday, March 20, 2010
Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins
I was at Borders Books a few months ago looking for this book. When I couldn't find it, I asked for help. The clerk told me that the store didn't carry that type of book. I have wondered ever since what kind of book she thought this book was. It certainly isn't whatever she thought. It makes me smile to think about how easily we can all find ourselves expressing inaccurate opinions out of ignorance.
Repossessed, a Printz Honor book for 2008, is actually a clever tale about a minor demon, Kiriel, who is in search of a short break from the fires of hell. He inhabits the body of Shaun, age 17, who is just about to meet his end by stepping into the path of an oncoming truck. Kiriel just wants to know what it is like to experience various aspects of humanness. Since Shaun was going to die early anyway, what was the harm of taking over his body for a while?
While reading the first half I found the book to be both funny and tedious, alternating. Shaun (now Kiriel) is experiencing his body and world anew. Many of the scenes are quiet humorous (and sometimes crass) while at other times I felt I was just reading through a checklist of experiences: wind on skin-check; taste of food-check; comforts of a warm bath-check; sneeze-check; aroused by girl-check. However the second half of the book becomes quite poignant as the demon comes to understand love and the connections between people. The ending poses the thought that perhaps we bind ourselves in our own personal "hells" by decisions that we continue to make on a daily basis.
A.M. Jenkins has created a very readable and enjoyable little book. I will definitely recommend it to my teen readers, especially boys. There are quite a few sexual references which I think boys in particular will appreciate.
Young Adult Lit.; 3.5 stars out of 5.