Monday, November 8, 2010

Review: Violence 101 - Denis Wright

WherI got it: Library
Rating: 3 stars 

Cover Rating: 4 stars (I really love the bold letters and how young the kid looks.)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: October 14, 2010 
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 
Page Count: 213 p. 

Hamish is a very smart boy, who happens to have very violent tendencies. New Horizons is his third home for violent offenders. On his first day he viciously attacks one of the top dogs of this new home. This establishes him as some one not to mess with. This story is his story. Told in alternating viewpoints between Hamish's journal and a third person narration this tale is one of a boy who is too smart and too violent for his own good.

This is going to be a hard review to write, because even still a little over a week after reading this, I'm not sure what my overall opinion of this book is. I thought it was a beautiful and intriguing look into the mind of an intelligent but violent child. Hamish Graham has the mind of a serial killer, honestly. He thinks things through very logically, but his logic concludes that he is making the right choices. Who is to say that in the grand scheme of things he isn't? This book is not for the squeamish. Some parts were horrifyingly disturbing and it was so strange thinking that these actions were that of a young boy. It was also really interesting reading how Hamish can self-analyze his actions and realize that some of his choices were probably not the best ones. There were a couple of editing mistakes that irked me, but they happen I guess. Some of the New Zealand slang I didn't know, but luckily there is a glossary in the back. If you are really into reading about the human psyche then make sure you pick up this book. It was very, very interesting and I am glad I read it even if it was disturbing. I did hate the ending though. It was out of character and unrealistic. I was okay with Hamish deciding to climb a mountain, but the heroics were just over the top. If you read it I'm sure you'll know what I mean. Other than the end though this was an interesting novel and perfect if you are fascinated by the subject matter. Although I did like it I doubt I will read it again, it's not a light read and it stays with you long after you've finished. 

First Line:
"The management staff of Manukau New Horizons Boys' Home waited in a cramped office and fidgeted." 

Favorite Line:
"Mind you, if I was a judge, I think I would probably ban me from owning pets too."


  1. This does sound like a pretty disturbing book. There's something about serial killers that has always interested me and I like how this book gets into the mind of a young boy. Might just have to check this book out. Thanks for the review.

  2. Your favorite line has totally creeped me out. Nice review. I don't think I'll be reading this one as I am rather squeamish in respects to voilence.

  3. It sounds interesting, and I might have to check it out myself. Great review :)

  4. i like the cover too - thansk for the review, it's the first one of read of this book.

    i sometimes like reading books like this - i have to be in the right mood though.



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