The Confessional by J.L. Powers
Another of NewPages contributors makes a big splash with this first novel. Call it Young Adult if you want to, but this book had me turning pages all night long. Definitely in the cross-over category of YA – content is VERY adult, but also VERY real to what so many of our nation’s “children” are witness to every day. This book can get any class of students wanting to read to the end and talking the whole way through about issues of terrorism, racism, classism, sexism (LOTS on the male side of this and the pressures placed on young men), homophobism, family, community, education and religion. Whew!. This book lacks for nothing in terms of topics, yet leaves so much to be discussed and explored.
Mexican guy. White guy. Classmates and enemies from across the border and on each other’s turf. Big fight. White guy wins. Next day, he’s dead. Everyone’s a suspect. Everyone’s guilty of something.
Does what you look like or where you come from finally determine where your loyalties lie? Who’s Us? Who’s Them? Which side is your side? Is it Truth?
Contemporary politics, the consequences of guys-being-guys, and questions about faith and personal responsibility pulse throughout the pages of this provocative, eloquent debut.
Published by Knopf, July 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-83872-9 (0-375-83872-4)