Review: Ship Breaker

March 24, 2011

Read the review and more after the break.

Bacigalupi , P. (2010). Ship breaker. New York, NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Nailer scavenges ship parts on the beaches of a hurricane ravaged New Orleans.  When him and his friend, Pima, come across an expensive clipper ship they hope they can earn enough money to get them out of a miserable life.  Bacigalupi creates a violent and hauntingly prescient future where children literally scavenge to stay alive.  Everyone in the world dreams of discovering a way above their current status, and Nailer finds just that.  The writing is crisp and vibrant.  Blood feels like it could be coming from the reader.  And when Nailer finds himself immersed in viscous oil early in the book, his lack of breath is so clear, the reader may find themselves struggling to get free as well.  The world is bleak, but the characters are hopeful.  The novel reads as a standalone, which is a plus as it is part of a proposed series.

Other Thoughts:

I totally recommend this book.  Especially to those looking for some violent dystopias (Hunger Games?).  The action is quick, and there is plenty of meat to keep readers minds active.  Not to mention the fact that there are a few times that Paolo Bacigalupi keeps the reader on edge.  Literally.

*SPOILER*

Pima and Nailer find a girl, whom they think is dead, upon the clipper ship.  Pima tries to take the rings off of the girl’s fingers.  It doesn’t work, so she tries to cut the girl’s fingers off.  Her eyes fly open. HOLY CATS!  I COULD BARELY SLEEP AFTER THAT!

Similar Titles (Read-A-Likes): Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix, The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The Hourse of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer, The Big Empty by J.B. Stephens

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