Friday, February 25, 2011

"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 This is a novel that illuminates a world where oil has been replaced by necessity, and where the gap between the haves and have-nots is now an abyss.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." -the goodreads summary

"Ship Breaker" was totally awesome. I've been meaning to read this for a while now, first when I stumbled across the summary a while ago, and then I found out it won the Printz award, which is rather prestigious and immensely impressive, they're usually awesome books (the Printz award winners and nominees), I mean, they win for a reason. "Ship Breaker" on first glance, looks like another book about pirates or something like that, and when you read the description, it seems like another story involving poverty and hard life for the lead character, set in an odd place. There's a lot more to this book than that though. I thought the characters were pretty deep and considered the setting really well developed. As the story unfolded I liked how we learned and figured out a bit more as to the story of how the world ended up that way- although I wish I'd known more. Nailer and Nita were awesome. I thought it was really interesting/terrible how the ship breakers were spending their lives. I also thought the book conveyed emotional things rather well. Also, there should really be a sequel! Both because I want to read more and the ending - while satisfying - was a bit of cliffhanger. 

I'm assuming this book would be considered kind of post-apocalyptic, because something big must have happened to the world, including the storms Nailer talked about. I liked that. It was kind of a Hunger Games type of scenario where some big stuff went down and then kind of how the world worked after those things. I give this book 4 stars! 


If you want to learn more about Ship Breaker go to Paolo Bacigalupi's website here.
Notes: Thanks, Little Brown, for the review copy. 
THIS REVIEW IS IN NO WAY BIASED.  

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