Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Vintage Reads Review: Dread Locks

Dread Locks (Dark Fusion, 1) by Neal Shusterman, 2005; 176 pages. Published by Dutton Juvenile. Source: Bought/Off my shelf.
Fifteen-year-old Parker Baer is bored with his entire perfect life. But when Parker finds Tara, a strange but beautiful girl sleeping in his bed, his life turns upside down. Exotic-looking, with long, glimmering spirals of golden hair that seem almost alive and eyes that are always hidden behind sunglasses, Tara lives by herself in a house full of statues. Parker watches, fascinated, as the charismatic Tara picks students at the high school to befriend and wraps them around her little finger. As her "friends" start developing strange quirks, like drinking gallons of milk at a time and eating dirt, only Parker realizes what Tara is up to. But she s endowed him with certain cravings of his own. .
First Sentence:
There was never anything wrong with my life.

After reading a few of Neal Shusterman's books, and loving each one, I decided that when I saw Dread Locks at the used bookstore that I would get it. And it has definitely turned into one of my better picks.

There are many reasons that I enjoyed reading Neal Shusterman's Dread Locks, first book in the Dark Fusion series. But the chief among those is the the spin on Greek mythology that he used in his story. This was perhaps one of my favorite myth retellings because, at the time, a tale featuring a gorgon was not exactly making the rounds in booklandia.

Again, Neal Shusterman takes readers on a dark look into the human heart, as, Parker falls under the spell of the mysterious Tara, leaving them both to one day face the consequences of their actions. Just reminiscing about this book has me hungering to re-read it and hunt down the other two books in the series.

While Parker isn't exactly one of those characters you'll love, his story is one that is quite interesting because it is filled with some difficult choices and regrets based on said choices. Even now, I'm still irritated with him, but the end of his story was so...mind boggling because it shakes the very basis of what was previously the core of his character.

I guess you could say one of the things I enjoy about Neal Shusterman's writing and storytelling ability is that you never know how things are going to end for his characters. Will they be happy or reaping the sorrow they've sown. While I do enjoy a happy ending, the ones that tend to leave the biggest mark are the ones that leave a character so changed by what he/she has done that they cannot return to the way they were. Which, is what you'll get at the end of Dread Locks.

The only thing I recall not liking about Dread Locks would have to be that finding the next book is pretty much impossible. I would have very much liked to have seen what the author had in store in future volumes, but finding them is like trying to get a prize from one of the machines with the claw.

Final Verdict: Dread Locks- One of the most different books you'll read.

Dread Locks earns 4 out of 5 griffins

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