Monday, April 25, 2011

Short and Sweet Review of Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Set initially in a future shanty town in America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being dissembled for parts by a rag tag group of workers, we meet Nailer, a teenage boy working the light crew, searching for copper wiring to make quota and live another day. The harsh realities of this life, from his abusive father, to his hand to mouth existence, echo the worst poverty in the present day third world. When an accident leads Nailer to discover an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, and the lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he strip the ship and live a life of relative wealth, or rescue the girl, Nita, at great risk to himself and hope she'll lead him to a better life. This is a novel that illuminates a world where oil has been replaced by necessity, and where the gap between the haves and have-nots is now an abyss. Yet amidst the shadows of degradation, hope lies ahead.  
3 out of 5
I read Ship Breaker because it won the Printz award this year.  I just never wanted to pick it back up, when I did read it I enjoyed it but I wasn’t ignoring my family, food, TV, the internet to read it(you get my point).  I found the idea of ship breaking interesting but the characters seemed lifeless to me except the half-man.  I didn’t care what happened to Nailer or Lucky Girl.  I wanted to know more about the society that made the current conditions and they mysterious beast.  So I don’t get what the fuss is about but I am glad that I read it. 

What Printz runner up book should I read next?

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