Friday, June 27, 2008

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

I'm not quite sure how to categorize this oddly compelling book. Is it science fiction? A problem novel? Hmmm.

Eli's wealthy father built a vast underground complex for his family to use to escape nuclear war. When they finally have to move into it, Eli's twin brother and grandmother are caught on the outside. Still, the five of them exist in the luxurious compound, working at the gym, learning to play instruments, doing lessons on computers. There have been some mistakes, and after 6 years the food is running a bit low, but with 9 more years until it is safe for them to leave, they make do.

Saying any more would ruin the great plot twist. The reviews call this a thriller. Okay. Considering the father's slow descent into a madness not caused by being locked up, I'll buy that. And I'll definitely be buying the book.

Won't be buying Julia Bell's Dirty Work, but only because a book about girls being sold into prostitution would not go over well in a middle school library. For high schools, this would be a good choice. Aside from the occasional f-bomb (maybe 2 or 3), it's an interesting story about an English girl who gets kidnapped and ends up on a seamy side of life she's never seen. This author's Massive, about eating disorders, was gripping and dark as well.

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