Author: Edward Bloor
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 of 5)
Summary: Edward Bloor’s award-winning novel Tangerine grabs readers by the collar on the first page and never lets go. Tangerine, Florida—once known for its citrus groves—is now an uninhabitable quagmire of muck fires and school-swallowing sinkholes. Still, twelve-year-old Paul sees the move as a way to start anew, maybe even make a name for himself in middle school soccer—despite his father’s obsession with his high-school-age brother Erik’s future in football. Paul is visually impaired (without his Coke bottle glasses), but it’s everyone else who seems to be blind to Erik’s dangerous nature. Written as a series of Paul’s journal entries, Tangerine is a gut-wrenching coming-of-age novel about truth, memory, culture, courage, social consciousness, classism, the environment . . . and soccer. Paul is a character well worth cheering for. Underdogs of the world, unite!
My Review: I had a really hard time picking up this book. One of my friends recommended it, but, in all honesty, it didn’t really appeal to me. Now, I’m not the type to judge a book by it’s cover, but I still cringe every time I see the Tangerine cover, it’s just terrible.
Anyway, this book took a while to get going, and there were quite a few times when I put the book down because it was just so boring. Eventually, though, it did start picking up speed, and pretty much as soon as it did, it was impossible to put down, and it was well worth the wait. It starts out the way your typical fiction book does, geeky kid moves to new school, brother’s a Football star, kid joins soccer team, etc. But then, first interesting, and soon increasingly strange, things begin happening…I can’t say much without giving everything away, but it was great book.
I will say, that the last half of the book completely makes up for the slow beginning. Paul makes some pretty incredible discoveries, and I was caught extremely off guard by some of them. This was a really fascinating book, and I loved it. The only reason it got a 3.5 rating, is because it was so slow starting.
To Sum it up: A heart-wrenching tale of shocking discoveries, unexpected friendships, strange murders, and coming-of-age. I really liked this book. Recommended for 10+