professornana (professornana) wrote,

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More from the north country

So, after I completed the Paulsen book, we were still sitting on the runway in Houston. Thankfully, of we rang our call button, a flight attendant would let us get out of our seats for a moment (shades of being back in Catholic school). So, I grabbed the new David Levithan, WIDE AWAKE (how ironic I am writing about this book and not really awake at all yet).

WIDE AWAKE is deliciously funny and warm and thoughtful, all things we have come to expect from Levithan. The first gay Jewish candidate has been elected President (the story is set in a nonspecific future) and Duncan and his pals are celebrating the victory. However, there is a recount looming in Kansas, and the vitriolic rantings of the defeated party (which includes a group called THE DECENTS) is escalating and the governor of Kansas demands votes be excluded (sound familiar?). Duncan has other, more pressing concerns: his relationship with Jimmy, a friend who is being betrayed by her partner, his parents, and a vicious history teacher at school just to name a few.

Levithan does here what he did so beautifully in BOY MEETS BOY and THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY: he creates wonderfully complex characters, people for the reader to admire or hate but mostly just to watch as they move through this sassy blend of politics and romance. They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows. Never has that been so true as in this novel that will leave readers laughing, bewildered, angry, and elated at turns. I, for one, would love to see a government/civics class tackle this one as a class read. Talk about discussion points!

Even dead on my feet, WIDE AWAKE is a winner!

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