14 December 2011

Clearcut; Nina Shengold

ClearcutClearcut by Nina Shengold
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What is it about Forks WA? Another book about a love triangle, this time without sparkly vampires but with an ecological message.

Earley is a 29-year-old shake-rat (someone who goes to a forest clear-cut and cuts stumps down for shingling) originally from Georgia - he has a broken-down truck and lives in a bus parked up in the woods. His showers are taken in dime-per-minute campsite showers, and his life is anything but going somewhere. One incredibly rainy day he picks up Reed, a trust-fund hitchhiker who left Berkeley to head to Alaska (but first, he wants to see Xan, the girl he's in love with).

Reed and Earley end up working together, sharing the bus and daily chores. Reed's newness to the job frustrates Earley but they find a way to make it work, particularly as Reed's skills grow. And then there's Xan, who is in love with Reed but flirts with Earley.

The love triangle is messy but, unlike most, the twist of who ends up with whom may surprise readers. The characters don't really change (although Reed grows up some over the course of the book), and the ecological message isn't pounded in - both of which would have made for a more compelling book.

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