A short review of one of my favorite books.
|Have you ever been frustrated with school? You know, that stomach-churning, teeth clenching, fist-making frustration where you just want to take it all out on something, anything? Isamu Fukui did. And he turned his frustration and hatred of school into a book, written when he was 15.
Tack is just a regular, overworked student in the City, a totalitarian society in which the school system is used to control the populace. He goes to school every day except Sunday, does all of his homework, and studies, trying to succeed in the hopeless system. One day things actually start to get better when he runs into another teenager, named Umasi, living in an abandoned district and running a lemonade stand. They soon become friends of sorts, Umasi mentoring Tack. Umasi tells him about others who are also frustrated with the system and who are rebelling against it, but cautions him about joining the Truancy because of their violent ways.
That truth hits home just a few weeks later when Tack’s closest friend and confidant is ‘collateral damage’, as the leader of the Truancy tells him before leaving the scene of the latest attack. Driven to get revenge upon this boy, Tack joins the Truancy and starts working his way up, hoping to get a chance at vengeance. Soon, though, he has to choose between his growing loyalty to the Truancy and his desperate need for revenge.
I would have liked to see more backstory and development of the characters and the City, but I was told I had to wait until the next book. Nevertheless, it had great action sequences and really made me think about why I disliked the school system, presenting a very interesting - and different - take on the school system. The conflicting desires in Tack were played out very well in a way that I think everyone could relate to - after all, at one point or another hasn't everyone been torn between two things they want very much?
Personally, I loved this book because it expressed how I felt about the school system. I'd never been able to articulate why I disliked it, but when I read this book everything fell into place. That made it deeply resonate with me, but also Tack's conflicting desires hit home. I have many books that I love, but most of them fade after a time because of other books that I've read more recently. This one hasn't, and that is what takes it from 'I love this book', to 'This is one of my favorite books'.
I would highly recommend this book to everyone who has ever been frustrated with the school system and to those who are convinced the school system is perfect. For those of you in-between – well, you might not connect as well to the message, but it’s still a great read!