Monday, May 26, 2014
Evan Carter is a teen who has learned to move, he has moved more times than should be counted as normal, since his mother died. He has also learned how to make the moves on girls, not caring about the ramifications of his actions. As the perpetual "new guy" he has learned to identify the girls who will probably say "yes" to sex.
He meets Collette at his newest school and he knows she used to date his roommate but he doesn't care. He is hot for her, and has big plans involving a condom. Evan's risky behavior eventually catches up to him and he is physically assaulted and beaten to a bloody pulp.
His father decides to bring Evan to the family cabin, located on a Minnesota lake in a small town, to heal. Evan begins to see his past and his present converge and he wonders if life will ever be normal again.
Carrie Mesrobian has written a novel about teen hook-up culture and the consequences of it. Ultimately Sex & Violence is about teen violence and its connection to sex but it is about so much more than that. It covers a range of teen issues from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the virginity pact. Since I teach at the high school level, I see a lot of teen fights over boyfriend/girlfriend issues and the drama goes on and on. Mesrobian has captured this part of teen drama and culture expertly.
Sex & Violence is an excellent novel for the mature teen. It is gripping, honest, raw and a bit shocking. Evan is a swearing, beer drinking, weed smoking, girl using, character you hate to love, he is multi-faceted and trying to become a better person. Mesrobian has captured the male teenage voice perfectly. Sex & Violence is a great first novel and Mesrobian is a writer I want to read more of. Love it or hate it, Sex & Violence is a part of the culture teens grow up in the U.S. and Mesrobian doesn't shy away from the tough nature of the subject matter.
Sex & Violence won the 2014 Minnesota Book Award.