Vast Fields vs. Change

 vs.

A couple of weeks ago I read a book called Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd.

It was really depressing (and as you know I don’t read depressing books) but I had to read it because I had to write discussion questions for it. And guess what??? Surprisingly, I really liked it 🙂

It’s about a gay boy named Dade Hamilton who has a secret relationship with Pablo, the most popular boy in school (who happens to have a girlfriend and is on the football team). Pablo is ashamed of who he is so he makes Dade keep their make-out sessions a secret and barely acknowledges him in school (which is a really douchey thing to do if you ask me).

And of course it doesn’t just stop there. Oh no. His dad is having an affair, his mom is going crazy, he’s being corrupted by his neighbors niece and Dade may also be in love with Alex, the cook at Taco Taco (the equivalent of Taco Bell only sketchier).

And despite the fact that this sounds like the exact opposite of what I like to read, I LOVED IT!!!

It was so sweet when Dade first kissed Alex and heartbreaking when Pablo gets jealous and comes crawling back to Dade after he completely ruined everything because he was scared.

So yeah, GREAT BOOK!!!

AND THEN…

This week my boss gave me a book another called How To Change the World by Madeleine George, (which is still in manuscript form) so that I could tell her boss what I thought about it.

At the beginning it was JUST like Vast Fields of Ordinary except the main character was a girl. Yep, a girl named Jesse who has a secret relationship with Emily, the most popular boy in school (who happens to have a boyfriend and is class vice president, but its ok because she can do way more things then she could if she were president). Emily does not want her two different lives mixing together so she makes Jesse keep their make-out sessions a secret and barely acknowledges her in school (which is AGAIN a really douchey thing to do!!!).

And AGAIN, Jesse’s pain does not end there!!! Her mom is a recovered cancer patient, her dad is always psycho-analyzing her because he’s a therapist, NorthStar (a big corporate company) wants to invade her little town by building a StarMart (which makes small businesses lose their business), and everyone thinks she’s going out with her new freshman friend Esther!!!

But despite these VERY similar similarities, that is where the similarities end.

Where Nick Burd goes for more of an emotional, tragic type feel, Madeleine George goes for a more funny, find yourself kind of feel.

I didn’t like How To Change the World as much as Vast Fields but I did like it. I was very proud of Jesse when she… ha ha I’m not gonna tell you, you’re gonna have to read the book 🙂 But I will tell you that it was definitely less depressing than Vast Fields and the ending was more joyful so I appreciated that, but I actually didn’t mind THAT much that Vast Fields had a (VERY!) depressing ending.

It actually made it better (it pains me to say that but its true. If it was a happy ending it wouldn’t have had the same impact).

So… in my first ever book battle Vast Fields won!!!

But you should still read How To Change the World when it comes out 🙂

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05/05/2011. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. karyn replied:

    I love that you read a book with a depressing ending. The list of books I want to make you read just grew exponentially now that I know I can occasionally break the happy endings only rule!

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