Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book Review of the Day - Alan DeNiro

I'm not a YA person. I've said it before, and will likely say it again. However, I read Alan DeNiro's YA novel TOTAL OBLIVION MORE OR LESS. I read it because we are agent siblings, and I was curious to see more of my agent's taste beyond my own work.

For those who don't know what agent siblings are, those are writers represented by the same agent. (Agent cousins are writers represented by different agents within the same agency.) Yep, I'm learning the lingo, though I'm not sure if we just made this stuff up at the last conference we attended, or if these terms are common terminology.

Anyway, I was very impressed with DeNiro's talent. His novel is surreal. That's the best term I can use to describe it. It's completely original. I've never read anything like it. Time warps, plagues, talking dogs, and snarky teens contribute to the plot in varying amounts. You can NEVER predict where it's going, and yet he manages to tie it all up nicely in the end.

I can definitely see its appeal to teens. Many of my students would love it, though I think it is a bit mature for their age. They should wait a couple of years.

I see no resemblance between his writing and mine, which tells me that my agent has wide and varied taste.

I'm looking forward to reading more of her clients' work.