Author: Christopher Krovatin
Source: Library Loan
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing/Atheneum;
1 edition (September 2, 2008)
Locke Vinetti is a high school junior, disenchanted and more than a little hostile. In fact, for years he’s had a lousy social life because of a problem he has with his anger–a force he calls “the venom.” Ever since he was eight years old and bit off a piece of a classmate’s nose, he’s been something of a loner. But all that is about to change when he goes out with his one friend, Randall, to meet some of Randall’s crew hanging out at Riverside Park. Because in addition to meeting his kindred spirit, Casey–who has his own problems with his own kind of venom–Locke meets the spikey blue fairy-haircut Goth girl of his dreams. And if their relationship is going to work, he knows he has to rid himself of the venom once and for all. Interspersed with comic book adventures of the fantasy anti-hero alter-ego Locke has invented for himself, VENOMOUS is a fast-paced, funny, and ferocious read about one teenage boy’s struggle with his inner demons.
First of all let me say one thing about this book–this is definitely a book for the older teens! I almost couldn’t believe that this book would even be considered a young adult book. It touches on subjects that could possibly be in a young adult book, but the whole context and style of writing would lead you to believe that it is better suited for the adult genre. There is a huge amount of cursing within the pages, subjects involving extreme violence, gay relationships, mood disorders, and overall anger. All of this I could have handled fine, but the way it was written was not what I was expecting.
It starts out okay and actually holds your interest for the first chapter or so. Then the story seems to fall apart and starts to get really out there. It also has a little comic book within the story as well including comic illustrations between each chapter. Honestly, I was not a fan of the comic book sections of the book. To me they gave no real substance to the book. It was more like filler pages just to make you feel like the book was longer. I never really bought the whole “Venom” classification that Locke used. Everyone has a dark side and anger issues, we just all have deal with it in different ways. We learn to control our moments of anger, but Locke calls it Venom and that was suppose to give him justification for biting someone’s nose off. I don’t think so.
I can see this book being better suited for older male teens than for the women. It has the appeal that the male’s would like better especially with the comic book feel inside of it. However, I would not recommend this book for the younger teens. It may be too dark for the younger ones to handle.
I did not like this book at all! 1 STAR