Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Street Dreams (review)
Rating Street Dreams is giving me fits. It's not a bad book. It's an fairly ambitious book with flaws, but a book that's heart is in the right place.
I'm honestly not sure how I ended up requesting this book from Netgalley. The story is centered around a boy who is struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality. It's not that I have an issue with that, but I don't typically read issue books or any kind of romance. So it's like a double whammy of not my normal.
But this book made me think. It showed the life of a young Maori in New Zealand trying not just to deal with homosexuality, but how that conflicts with his cultural identity. He's into the hip-hop culture, both music and graffiti, but when he looks around he wonders if there's anybody else like him, both brown and gay (his word). His struggles with his limited options (such as crushing on straight people) was pretty eye opening because it's something so far out of my own experience.
This book had a slight "everything and the kitchen sink" plot problem where they kept throwing a crapload of trouble at the main character. To me it seemed a little bit too much and broke the realism the author was trying to achieve. At times the writing was a bit awkward. The author also spent way too much time deep in Tyson heads, where he struggled with his problems. Tyson hit a few of my pet peeves such as crying a lot (crying main characters drive me a little nuts) and basing too much of his happiness on a guy.
But this book tried really hard and it's heart was always in the right place. I'm glad that I read it. I think other people will also find it interesting.