When I can find extra moments, there is always a list of books I want to read. Some I anticipate for months, some for years before I find the time to get to them, and some of them live up to the hype and some don’t. Leisure Literature is a book review column that details my thoughts on my recent readings.
Once upon a time when I was younger, I participated in some Vague Summer Reading Program and received a free book from Barnes & Noble at the end. From the small selection provided, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen stood out, probably for the chicly simple cover. Quite certainly, I was surprised and confused by what was inside, but as happens with all books in my house, it eventually got reread a couple times. I realized it was supposed to be weird like that, and I kind of liked it. So when I saw more Hiaasen on the shelf at the library, I picked it up.
Flush manages some amazing feats; cliches which are done realistically, ones that don’t make me roll my eyes in the slightest. The crazy dad, the hulking bully, Hiaasen does it in a way that makes me love the cliches for the reasons they became well-used in the first place.
The character building is very strong. A common struggle I see throughout many novels is developing a sense of the POV main character’s voice and character traits, and conveying it convincingly; Noah has a voice as strong and traits as lovable as his sister’s. And his sister is such an attractive character; not a helpless little brat, yet still needs saving; she has an admirable cooperation with her brother against the Annoying Forces of Parents Which Need a Couple of Eyes Kept On, as well as plotting and going on Midnight Excursions.
The rest of the cast of characters–Shelly, Lice, Jasper Jr., Bull, the list goes on; this is the kind of book I enjoy calling diverse. Not for the different races, sexualities, religions, or disabilities, even though those books are cool; but for being truly diverse in terms of different people and personalities.
Hiaasen’s writing style is such a distinct, awesome sore thumb, that it’s impossible to compare, and hard to dislike. Even if I have only read two of his books so far, it’s clear his YA likes to take a high-level concept, add some highly improbable action-packed plans, and mix in some serious pieces which are simultaneously satirical. Along with charming characters, good writing, and a knowledgeable homage to the Keys in Florida, it makes Hiaasen’s books one of the most curious things I’ve ever said I liked.
Yes, this is only YA, and a little younger than my level; my mom would still call it a “candy book”. But Flush is something I’m alright with being entertained with; it’s a good kind of time-wasting. I’ll be reading Scat and Chomp sometime soon.