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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Whatever You Want: The Waiting Place

The Waiting Place

By Sean Kelly McKeever

I should know better than to be skeptical of books Scotty hands me. But there's something that screams "Run away!" about them when he hands me a stack of books and says, "You'll like these. They're set in Wisconsin." I'm from Wisconsin. From a small town. Waiting Place is set in a small town. I moved out of my hometown as fast as humanly possible. These books reminded me why I did that.

The book starts out on the first day of school, outlining the various lives of the people you'll get to know in the books. There's Jeffery, the new kid in school (I love when they use music lyrics in books to get the emotions of the character across); Lora, the rebel; Jill, the good girl with a few problems; and Kyle, the bad boy. And then there's Scott, a man who just can't let go of the past.

There isn't anything in this town for the kids to do but party, no movie theaters or anything. It's just a tourist trap during the summer. At time the book is scarily accurate about living in a small town (parents going to the coaches and badgering them into letting their kid play, calling the parents of the clerk in the video store because they want him to stay open a few minutes later so they can come in, etc.). At other times, it's just slightly over the top. And the worst thing about living in a small town, everyone knows just about everything about you. Take Jill for instance: all everyone talks about when they see her is how she tried to commit suicide, poor girl. That's the kind of crap that sent me running for the hills after graduation.

All in all, it's a good slice of life story that a lot of people can gravitate towards. You know someone who's like at least one of the characters (or a mix of two or three of them). I knew someone like everyone in the books, which almost made it too hard to read.

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