Monday, August 29, 2011

Ship breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Set initially in a future shanty town in America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being dissembled for parts by a rag tag group of workers, wemeet Nailer, a teenage boy working the light crew, searching for copper wiring to make quota and live another day. The harsh realities of this life, from his abusive father, to his hand to mouth existence, echo the worst poverty in the present day third world. When an accident leads Nailer to discover an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, and the lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he strip the ship and live a life of relative wealth, or rescue the girl, Nita, at great risk to himself and hope she'll lead him to a better life. This is a novel that illuminates a world where oil has been replaced by necessity, and where the gap between the haves and have-nots is now an abyss. Yet amidst the shadows of degradation, hope lies ahead

I have seen this title for awhile but hadn't heard of anyone talking about. I ordered it for my classroom but before school started, I was determined to read it. I have followed the book trend of dystopias and figured I would enjoy it... I liked it, but it didn't keep me reading. I easily put it down and mademyself pick it up again.

Some good stuff - The world Nailer lives in is tough and demanding. He doesn't want any of it and you can appreciate why he wants to get out. He also has an abusive relationship with his father, and the book does show how Nailer copes with it, how he depends on Pima's mother, and that you can get out of situations like that.

I think my problem with the book is that I did not feel a connection to the book. I developed an attachment to Nailer, but Lucky Girl and Pima, just didn't pull me in and as a results, I didn't care if the main external conflict was solved.

I do think this would be good for my middle grade students.

So, some ofyou may have noticed that this is my first review in like a week - I have been pretty consisant and I flopped this past week. I did a lot of reading, but with going into school and painting the house, I was just tired. I did however,go on a historical romance kick. It's common for me. I love the time period, and the super sauve handsome guys. So here is what I tackled.

They were a wonderful adult escape for me. I love YA but sometimes I need to be in an adult world.


  1. I've seen this book around too. But truth be told I really don't remember what anyone has said about it. Thanks for the review. And hope all goes well with back to school and painting. :)

  2. I also had misgivings about Ship Breaker--I liked it, but didn't love it. My biggest issue was with the poor decisions the characters seemed to be constantly making (or not making). I kept wanting to throttle them! :) There were a few plot holes that bothered me, too. But overall, it's a good read. I'm a fellow campaigner and new follower.

  3. I've heard of Ship Breaker and I'm planning on reading it someday. I really like the concept- it's kind of a fresh and original take on dystopian (which is something the genre could use, IMO).

  4. This is the first I've heard of it. If I come across it I will pick it up and check it out. Thanks for reviewing it so I know what to expect=)

  5. hmmm. you know, i've heard positive reviews of this one and have it on my tbr list.