"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


You know those books you buy with every intention of reading, and then, for whatever reason, you just never pick them up to read, and then, when you finally do, years later, you're like why the heck did I wait so long to read this book? Yeah, that.

LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen, April 29, 2008)

Here are Five Things I have to Say About LITTLE BROTHER:

1) I am kind of awed at how intense the main character, Marcus', emotions are. No matter what his situation, he acts exactly like how I would expect a teen boy to act, from the moments when he is taken by Homeland Security to his interactions with the two girls in his life, it's all real, all teen, all the time.

2) The book is the perfect mix of scary and humorous and intriguing. It's scary, because seriously frightening things happen to Marcus. It's humorous because the main characters and their interactions were so real, they truly made me laugh. And it's intriguing because there are so many interesting things to be learned.

3) Which kind of brings up my next point. Or the same point. I learned so many different things. It was kind of like a layer of CRYPTONOMICON learning. Like after reading that book, I felt like I could get at least ten different degrees. With LITTLE BROTHER it was the same sort of thing but much more focused. Lots of smarts hidden inside.

4) So silly, but yes, this cover completely works for me. And even more importantly, this cover completely works for the book. It's just that cool and unique and awesome. Like the cover? You'll like the book.

5) The book edge a bit upward on my scale of what age it's right for, so I'll go with 7th grade and up (as opposed to my normal 6th grade for lots of YA). Boys and girls will both enjoy it, with those interested in geeky things like computers (like me) and hacking and conspiracy theory at the front of the list. Highly recommended and totally worthwhile!

Source of book: purchased


Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

And just for the record, I am totally excited for the sequel, HOMELAND (Tor Teen, February 5, 2013).


Angela Brown said...

Wow. The description of that novel reminded me so much of Catch a Fire, a movie where a non-terrorist man, played by Derek Luke, is interrogated mercilessly for terrorist acts only for the mistreatment to be the spark that leads him on the "terrorist" path.

The scary thing is, this is a novel...and art is often an imitation of life.

PJ Hoover said...

Ooh, Catch a Fire sounds great. And scary. Actually the whole thing is a bit frightening. Glad I am only reading about it.