Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Banned Books by R.J. Astruc

Banned BooksBanned Books by R.J. Astruc
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars!

Fun, hilarious, fantastic read - a great take on Dead Poet's Society minus the dark and sometimes depressing angsts. Loved the book list too!

At St. Peter’s, an exclusive British boarding school for boys, a teacher’s word is law—and Anthony Parker is leading a rebellion. When he is found reading a book containing “questionable content,” he receives a reprimand from the headmaster. Parker responds by secretly lending questionable materials to other students, aided by his best friend and long-time crush, Rafe.

The situation escalates when their draconic literature teacher discovers their subterfuge and compiles a banned books list. Parker and Rafe fall in with Peter Fritz, a broody outcast who’s turning the ban in his favor by buying and lending banned books to students—for a price. As the banned books library grows and hidden feelings threaten the boys’ burgeoning partnership, they discover that the challenges of growing up might outweigh the rewards of bucking the system.

Banned Books was an entertaining read from the first page. It made me reminisce of highschool days in a convent school and reading the same "banned books" listed here. Funny thing is, here the books were banned by a trying-too-hard-bigotted-teacher-wannabe while in my school, the nuns encouraged us to read this same list. Which we did.  Much to our dismay and frustration. Those books are yes, classics, but wow! they could make the eyes bleed with the length and complexity of the plots! Worse, we had to make book reports in the days where there was no WordPerfect. I wonder how this plot would have fared if Mr. Collins, as "punishment," got the boys to submit book reports on the banned books they "borrowed?"


Anyway, I really loved the way author RJ Astruc portrayed the boys of St. Peter's. They were the typical boys of a private school who knew just the right way to needle their "rebellion" the right and peaceful (?) way. Boys will be boys and they will find the way.

And no. Not all Catholic private schools are filled with frustrated, angst-ridden young teens faced with bigotted teachers and administrators. It could be a fun and peaceful way to grow up, away from the influences of the outside and most times frustrating world.

I especially loved that there was none of the dark angsts that usually prevail MM YA books. For once, I read a light YA read that made me giggle.

Note: that part in Chapter 5 where Parker was despairing over differential equations? That sent me to giggle so bad I had to share it with my family and friends. Everyone liked that part, especially as it echoed our thoughts to the letter, punctuation and x!

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