Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Book Review: June Bug

We've got a lot of bizarre rules in my house: no snacks after 4pm, no showers after 9pm, no talking about cars...  My least favorite is: no books on vacation.  Lucky for me, this rule is not strictly enforced.  This is especially lucky since the only fun reading I do during the school year is blogs.  Spring break seems to me to be the perfect time to catch up on all of the books I've purchased lately and haven't had the opportunity to open.

Although it was my most recent purchase, when I scanned my bookshelf prior to leaving on spring break, June Bug by Chris Fabry caught my eye.

The basic storyline is about a nine year old girl who lives in an RV traveling around the country with her "father".  They live out of Wal-mart parking lots which becomes a problem when their RV breaks down leaving them stranded in Colorado facing the possibility of having their "home" towed and empounded.  The whole book kind of left me with an "everything's going to turn out alright" feeling while I was reading, so I wasn't shocked when the protagonist and her father were saved from the jaws of a bad situation.

Aside from not having a mother, a steady income, and never knowing where she's going to wake up, June Bug's biggest problem is the fact that she spotted herself on the missing persons list in the Wal-mart vestibule. This leads to incessant questioning about her history.  Questions her father cannot (or will not) answer.  The story of her disappearance seven years earlier also re-surfaces and once again becomes national news. 

Farby shows the emotions and feelings of everyone involved in the situation especially the devistated family, the police officer leading the investigation, and June Bug.  One thing I found interesting in that the book is written from a third person perspective except for when June Bug is present.  If she's present, it's first person from her perspective.  This seems like a weird perspective-jump that would be criticized in my creative writing class.  I also wish he had perhaps used a different font or told you when she was telling the story of that chapter because it could be confusing.

I did buy this book at a Christian bookstore, but unlike most Christian novels God is not forced into the book.  Sure, He makes appearances but a little bit of editing and He could have been easily removed to make the novel "suitable for secular publications."  This thought, of course, left me pensive about God's placement in novels.  As a Christian and a writer, I like to think I would never write Him out just to please a publisher.  However, it makes me wonder if He has to be a character in everything I write.  These thoughts could lead to a whole different blog, but I'd love to hear your opinions.

This is another book that doesn't land on my "everyone must read" list, but it was not a waste of my time either.  Over all, I'd give it a four out of five.

<>< Katie

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