Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Playing With Matches...Will Burn
For Teen Read Week, I have read Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher and I am Legend by Richard Matheson...I highly recommend both books.
Playing with Matches is one those books with gut-wrenching scenes. You can't help but to feel that knot in your stomach when the main character is about to do something he regrets to his sort-of-girlfriend. Leon Sanders is not handsome, nor is he a charmer. Some would consider him to be geeky and nerdy and he only has about 3 or 4 friends in the entire school. He is the kind of guy who watches horrible B level horror films and still has his collection Magic Treehouse books from elementary school. Although he is a 17 year old high school junior, he has not had a girlfriend. But, he is in complete lust with a beautiful, popular girl who smokes cigarettes like there is no tomorrow. This is his dream girl, but what he really desires is for some girl, any girl, to like him for what he has to offer...which is basically himself as he is. For some girl to see him as someone special and someone they enjoy being with.
Well, be careful what you wish for. When a real girl finally says this to him, Leon has some difficulty accepting it. Why? Well, it turns out the girl who is falling for him and the girl he can't help but to begin liking is none other than Melody Hennon, a girl who many consider hideous--a girl whose entire face is a shriveled raisin of burned skin. From the neck down she is absolutely normal, but as Leon admits, he cannot get over her face. Nonetheless, he falls for her too, and just when he finally snags a girlfriend, here come the girl of his dreams with her long blond hair, perfect face, and cigarette breath. This is when you start disliking Leon. You just want to reach into the page and slap him around a bit. All of sudden he feels like he is merely settling for Melody and that his dream girl deserves a bit of Leon. Basically, he acts like a Jerk. He plays with fire, bringing grief to Melody and himself, and hardening Melody against any future with Leon. How low does Leon stoop? Will he come to his senses? Can he accept and love Melody beyond her physical appearance? Would you be able to look beyond extreme physical imperfections into the core of a person's beauty? Just read it...Leon holds nothing back. You will get a full glimpse of his views on girls, dating, and love. You'll hate him, but you'll root for him.
When I was in junior high, I was a nerd. The kind of guy everyone picked on. The last one chosen for teams in gym class. Now, after years of struggle, I'd succeeded in becoming an unknown. And when no girl knew you existed, odds were they wouldn't be receptive when you tried to get them horizontal.
Of course, my looks didn't exactly make girls turn their heads and drop their pants. At only five foot six, I had to look up at many of the girls at school. Puberty had come and gone without leaving me so much as a chest hair or a whisker. And my face . . . Some guys are just born handsome. I had a mug that looked like it should be hanging in a post office somewhere, with the title wanted for shoplifting and credit card fraud.
Instead of wavy brown hair, I had stringy locks the color of old hay. When I wore a hat, I looked like a scarecrow. I'd inherited my father's generous ears but not his noble nose. I was stuck with my mother's petite button nose.
And then there were my eyes. Some guys had steely blue orbs that, despite any physical shortcoming, could just freeze a woman in her tracks and hypnotize her with their raw power. I had two beady brown eyes that, no matter how hard I tried to look mysterious and cool, always seemed to say "It wasn't me who just farted."
I kicked my locker shut. Three billion women in the world, and the universe couldn't spare one for Leon Sanders.
Female voice! I swirled, waiting to see whatever gorgeous teenage queen wanted my attention.
Disappointed wasn't the word. I was . . .
Sneek Peek of his new book--Almost Perfect
A teen boy falls for a new student and forms a close connection that culminates in a kiss. But, then he finds out something about this girl that sends a shock to his core. His world is turned upside down.