Krovatin, C. (2008). Venomous. NY: Ginee Seo Books (Atheneum). 323 pages.
Okay, I’ll admit it. This is my obligatory “appeals to boys” book review. I did like this book though, and I certainly do think that it is geared towards young men; however, I think the gals will like it as well. Disclaimer: here comes a huge generalization. Following each chapter of the book, there is a comic-book-like graphic and accompanying comic-book-like storyline, which I think boys will really like. Enough chit-chat, here’s the synopsis: Locke Vinetti is not your average teenager living in NYC. He houses “the Venom” inside of him, which makes him act violently and irrationally when he is upset by something. The Venom has made it impossible for Locke to carry out normal relationships, including one with his father. The Venom in Locke is where the whole comic-book theme stems from. He treats the Venom like a villain in a comic. When he meets Renée, he decides that he wants to change in order to foster a meaningful relationship with her, but for Locke, changing is not easily done. Things I loved: Locke’s relationship with his mother and brother, and internal character development. Things I didn’t love: there seems to be some missing information here. Where exactly is the Venom stemming from? What has Locke so upset all the time? His character just seems a bit stereotypical, and it’s almost like the author wants the reader to buy into the stereotypes, which leads me to the next thing I didn’t like: the lack of physical description of Locke. For example, I only found out when I was about 7/8 of the way through the book that Locke has dirty blonde hair, while the whole time I had been picturing him with black hair (hence, buying into the stereotype). It was disconcerting to have my internal picture of the main character thrown off so close to the end. Oh and I would also recommend this one for students aged 16+, due to swearing, intense fight scenes, and sexual situations. Okay wrapping this up now, sorry so long!