Saint Iggy -- K. L. Going
Saint Iggy begins:
So I got kicked out of school today, which is not so great but also not entirely unexpected, and I went back to Public Housing where I live to tell my parents all about it but my mom went visiting someone or other and probably isn't coming back and my dad is stoned off his ass on the couch like he always is, so somehow I'm not getting the vibe that he'd really, you know, care, so I think, Here's what I'm going to do: First I've got to make a plan. And this is part of the plan--making a plan--so really I'm doing good already.
16-year-old Iggy Corso hasn't had an easy life -- he was born addicted to crack, lives in the projects with his drunk father, his mother is a meth addict who rarely comes home anymore, his parents' drug dealer (Iggy isn't into drugs at all) is always messing with him. And he just got kicked out of school.
During his last meeting with the principal, he is told:
"You've had a lot to overcome in your life, but that's no excuse for poor discipline. We can all make something of ourselves, no matter what out situation. We can do something that contributes to the world, live a life that has meaning."
So Iggy figures that if he finds a way to "contribute" to the world in the next five days, he won't get expelled and his life will turn itself around. This is the story of those few days.
I felt very mix-y about this book. On one hand, at times, Iggy's voice was so real that I could almost hear him. And character-wise, Mo was also very real. I hated him a whole lot, but he was real.
But on the other hand... sometimes Iggy's voice DIDN'T ring so true. His intellect seemed to bounce around -- it wasn't a matter of him making discoveries about life and himself as the story progressed -- maybe sometimes his vocabulary just seemed more extensive? I dunno. That's just a gut reaction. I'll have to re-read it to really figure out what my problem is.
Also. About halfway through, I KNEW how the book was going to end and had to put the book down for two days before finishing it. So for the second half of the book I wasn't emotionally attached at all. Kind of on purpose.
So, yes. Mixed feelings, but I suspect that's more my problem than the book's problem. I'm going to wait awhile and give it another go. Reluctant readers -- especially those who like books with lots of issues -- will be pulled in by Iggy's voice.