Title: Dynamite Junior
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
In: Kisses & Curses (Lauren Burniae)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading
Format: Short story
Publisher: Square Fish
5th sentence, 74th page: “Jesus, those white girls are bitches,” says Claudia, like she’s bored more than surprised.
A short story set against the backdrop of The Truth About Alice. It tells the tale of Carmen as she starts her new life at a new school and in a new town.
It’s been a few days since I read this – I haven’t actually had the chance to sit at my computer until now to write. And the more that I think about it, the more I like this story. It’s a reminder of the cruelties that people inflict on each other. Especially when they are in high school. Although this is a side story that belongs to Mathieu’s bigger novel, it works beautifully as a stand alone.
With the rise of teen violence and disarray in schools, the fact that this was my first short story about such a thing is actually kind of surprising. And it worked really well. It’s a reminder that for many of those children who turn violent for whatever reasoning, there is a family that is left behind. And in this case, it was the boy’s younger sister. The aftermath of his decisions have left an everlasting scar and the way in which she deals with this in her daily life is really captivating and interesting.
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