Thursday, May 24, 2012

Warp Speed

This is the newest book by Lisa Yee, and all of the protagonists of her previous books make appearances, so be prepared to greet Millicent Min, Stanford Wong, and Emily Ebers again!

Marley Sandelski is the lowest kid on the scale of popularity at school.  His word for the year is "invisible" because no one notices him unless it is to bully him.  A normal day for Marley includes getting chased, spat on, slammed into his locker, and ignored.

The only place he feels safe is in AV club which meets during sixth period.  When he's there, he's free to be himself and flaunt his love and knowledge of Star Trek.  His best friend Ramen loves Star Wars, and the AV kids spend a lot of time arguing over which better.  When he gets nervous, Marley starts speaking in Klingon, which doesn't help anything.

He thinks this year will be the same as all the others, but there are a few important differences.  Some are not so bad, like the new kid in AV club, even if Max is a Bat fan.  There's also Emily Ebers who is beautiful and normal and nice which is good but also confusing.  Despite all these good things, the bullies are full force, and things just keep getting worse.  Marley is trying to move at Warp Speed to avoid everything, but maybe he just needs to slow down a little and try for more out of life than just survival.

I think the best aspect of the book is Yee's ability to make the reader feel Marley's pain and frustration at the hands of his bullies.  She also honestly portrays the inept ways many adults try to address bullying.  Marley's story is the story of the awkwardness we all feel in middle school from the geeks to the jocks.

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