Summary: Lorne’s last year of high school is full of challenges. There’s the teacher he keeps butting heads with, the girlfriend who won’t sleep with him, and the best friend who’s having serious problems of his own. His feelings of hopelessness are somewhat tempered by his two loves – photography and poetry – both of which help him express himself and his observations of Newfoundland. Learning a family secret helps Lorne change his attitude toward some things, but a graduation party with a tragic ending is what ultimately fosters his will to live.
Number of Pages: 155
Age Range: 15-17
Review: This is the first Kevin Major book I’ve ever read, and it really packed a punch. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what Lorne is trying to communicate through the poem that ends the book in chapter thirty-six, but it’s also the grittiness of Lorne’s story that is staying with me. Reminds me a bit of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.
I see this as a good book to recommend to reluctant readers as the story moves at a quick and easy pace, dealing with universal teen issues like sex, depression, anger and feelings of hopelessness. Lorne and his best friend Trevor are relatable characters who make stupid but real teen mistakes. I would have liked to have seen a bit more character depth, but that’s a difficult task with 155 pages.
Major has written some truly beautiful poetry through Lorne’s character, and the book is worth reading for that alone. I included the poem I liked the best in my Memorable Quotes section. It is easy to see why Major is considered an essential Newfoundland teen author.
Due to mature themes, swearing and some sexually explicit scenes, this book is more suitable for older teens.
“‘The ring, the clatter
from those who’ve made their choices.
History has said its peace.
But the future of which we speak
is ours, not theirs
the mistakes we make
what decisions we take at last
belong not to the past. . . .
They belong to us.'”
– Lorne from Thirty-Six Exposures by Kevin Major, page 104