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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Book Review: Heroes by Robert Cormier

Cormier, Robert. Heroes. New York: Delacourte Press, 1998.

Oh, I have eyes because I can see and eardrums because I can hear but no ears to speak of, just bits of dangling flesh. But that's fine, like Dr. Abrams says, because it's sight and hearing that count and I was not handsome to begin with. He was joking, of course. He was always trying to make me laugh.

If anything bothers me, it's my nose. Or rather, the absence of my nose. My nostrils are like two small caves and they sometimes get blocked and I have to breathe through my mouth. This dries up my throat and makes it hard for me to swallow. I also become hoarse and cough a lot. My teeth are gone but my jaw is intact and my gums are firm, which makes it possible for me to wear dentures. In the past few weeks, my gums began to shrink, however, and the dentures have become loose and they click when I talk and slip around inside my mouth.

I have no eyebrows, but eyebrows are minor, really. I do have cheeks. Sort of. I mean, the skin that forms my cheeks was grafted from my thighs and has taken a long time to heal. My thighs sting when my pants rub against them. Dr. Abrams says that all my skin will heal in time and my cheeks will someday be as smooth as a baby's arse. That's the way he pronounced it: arse. In the meantime, he said, don't expect anybody to select you for a dance when it's Girls' Choice at the canteen.

Don't take him wrong, please.He has a great sense of humor and has been trying to get me to develop one.

I have been trying to do just that. But not having much success.

Francis has no face. He has just returned to him hometown from the war in which he threw himself on a grenade. Using his anonymity, he seeks out his old mentor, Larry LaSalle, who is also a war hero. But Francis is not there to rekindle a friendship. He is intent on revenge. He is going to kill Larry LaSalle.

Brilliant, as always. The characters were possibly his most intriguing yet. I don’t know where he gets his ideas. Everything his characters think seem so over the top until you find out why it is that way, and then everything just falls into place. The ending isn’t really open for interpretation, but it is open enough that I can pretend it has a happy ending. The suspense is so intense, it's almost impossible to put down. There are a number of more mature themes throughout, so I would recommend reading it before giving it to younger children.

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