Thursday, May 6, 2010
The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson
Darren Bennett likes to draw. One day while drawing in class, he is approached by Eric Lederer. They bond over the drawings and soon expand them, creating a universe of time traveling scientists and android cavemen. It sort of reminds me of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, or rather my interpretation of Kavalier and Clay because I haven't read that yet. So, I will stick with Seth Cohen and Zach the water polo player from "The O.C." In both scenarios, the characters have attended school together for a while, then they bond over a shared interest in comic drawing. The difference would be the secret that Eric soon reveals to Darren: he can't sleep.
Eric asks Darren not to tell anyone about his secret. He fears that some government agency will take him away to be a guinea pig, like E.T. Even after the revelation, things stay pretty much the same with Eric and Darren. They hang out, eat lunch, draw. Then, Darren starts a relationship with Christine. He has difficulty balancing his romantic relationship and his friendship, often abandoning Eric for Christine. He figures it out in time and they eventually include Eric.
Then, something horrible happens. Eric and Christine betray Darren. Seriously, has he never heard the phrase, "Male heterosexual friends before female floozies?" (My interpretation of what I consider a less-than-savory phrase) To retaliate, Darren betrays Eric in the worst possible way. This betrayal leads to the third act of the book, and an even more amazing revelation from Eric.
I really loved this book. Despite the slightly paranormal subject matter, it was an incredibly realistic view of high school. As unimpressive as the actual power is, there's something intriguing about super powers. Both Darren and I agree that Eric represents potential. If someone like Eric can exist, then anything is possible.