Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Venomous by Christopher Krovatin
Publish Date: 2008
Artwork: Kelly Yates
"So then I tackled Tommy Ferraro and bit off the tip of his nose."
So begins Locke's story. It definitely drew me in - what kind of kid does a thing like that?!
Locke is plagued by anger issues, only his anger takes over and he can't seem to control it. Well, chocolate milk seems to help for some weird reason, but not always. He calls his anger 'Venom'. He's pretty solitary just hanging out with his mom, little brother Lon and best friend Randall. One day Randall decides that Locke has been a loner long enough and makes him attend a party to meet Randall's other friends. Locke hits it off with Casey and falls hard for Renee. The other kids at the gathering? They all have issues and are the goths, emo, weirdo's, you name it. They've formed a group called The Tarot. They go by the cards of the Tarot deck.
As for our leading characters:
Casey - gay, in love with a straight guy, rich
Renee - heavily medicated, parentless, jock brother
Randall - the 'steady' one, which can be the hardest thing to be in a group
There's smoking, drinking, vandalism, swearing, violence, fighting and sex. This is not a book for the younger set - but I think 16yo and older would be fine with it. It's not like they haven't heard it/seen it before.
In between the regular chapters are comic book pages of 'Venom'. They aren't really explained, although Locke's brother Lon mentions the Venom doodles in Locke's notebook once. It's a great touch to a fantastic story, I loved them. I also loved when Locke found out that Spiderman's bad guy is named Venom and what he looks like.
The author was only 23 when the book was published and I think, since he was closer in age to the characters, he made them more realistic. It was nice to read about a boy/girl relationship from the boys point of view and realize that boys feel the same way, they just don't always verbalize it.