Friday, September 28, 2012
The Death of Jayson Porter
It's a dark journey, and Adoff is unflinching in his descriptions. The Death of Jayson Porter begins with far denser text than I've ever seen in a verse novel before, but towards the end the poems become sparse and simple, a clever choice by Adoff. Fans of Ellen Hopkins (particularly males) will be drawn to this book and the difficulties that Jayson faces.
I was impressed by Adoff's decision to have the male protagonist be abused by his mother. This is an uncommon dynamic in novels about abuse, yet one that frequently occurs in reality. Jayson's emotional response to the beatings is further complicated by the shame he feels as a sixteen-year-old "man" who is afraid of a woman. This aspect of the novel is devastatingly authentic. Yes, the ending wraps up a bit neatly, but I like at least a little hope in my YA novels and know that most readers do, too.