Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Review: Mosh Pit by Kristyn Dunnion

Title: Mosh Pit
Author: Kristyn Dunnion
Pages: 270

Summary: (from back)

Juliet meets her Juliets in this raw look at punk, young love and the sometimes cloudy road to adulthood. Mosh Pit, a compelling story of rebel girls in the modern city, stars Simone--torn between her loyalty to her heart-throb Cherry and her feelings for Carol, streetwise and distant enough to be alluring. The edgy young adult novel takes Simone through the modern equivalent of Hades where she gradually gains a sense of who she is and more importantly who she can be.

There's a lot of things one could call Mosh Pit; traditional publishers and authors might call it terrible, might call it disgusting and vulgar and inappropriate. Luckily, I am not a traditional publisher/author. I am a teen and, as a teen, Mosh Pit was probably the most honest novel I have ever read.

Simone's voice is completely raw, stripped of worldly description, stripped of traditional 'teen angst'--she is a character all her own, completely believable in her honesty, her vulnerability, and her fears. Simone is a young lesbian, struggling through high school and thriving in the local punk scene with her self-destructive friend/love interest Cherry. This book is not for the conservative or the weak of heart; there is cursing, and lots of it. While this is one of the main reasons I'm able to relate to it so much (I have a mouth like a sailor who stubbed his toe on a rock), I know a lot of people have problems with it. There's high levels of sexuality, underage drinking, underage sex, drugs, implied rape, etc. There's also alot of slang used between quotations. If in the wrong hands, this can be either annoying or cliche, but Ms. Dunnion uses it in a way that further allows the reader to relate to Simone. How many of us have used IM lingo whle narrating our daily life?

I think the most sincere part of Mosh Pit is Cherry. From beginning to end, Cherry slowly descends into a world of drugs, sex and rock n' roll. In between sever la chapters, their are post from her Livejournal, to help catch us, the reader, and Simon, on what Cherry is up to as she and Simone gradually drift apart. You watch her descend further into her destructive relationship with her drug dealer boyfriend, slowly giving in to the drugs themselves.

Usually, I try to veer away from books self-published or published to a smaller company, just because, from my experience, they're usually not very good. But now, I might be more convinced. Many big time publishing houses tend to avoid books like Mosh Pit, not because they're not good, but because they feel as though it would cause an uproar. And it probably would. Parents don't want their kids reading books like this, completely uncensored, completely stripped of everything but the heart of the novel; the characters. This is a completely, 100% character driven novel. Once more, the characters are relatable. I know a Simone, I know a Cherry, and I know a Carol. The entire thing is a twisted, punk rock Juliet and Juliet love triangle, uplifting one moment and heartbreaking the next. The musical undertones just add to the surreal, yet readable atmosphere. I can't recommend Mosh Pit enough.

Also: Here's a poem Cherry wrote on her Livejournal (page 172)

We run, woolly pack animals
abandoned by our fathers
betrayed by our mothers
raped by our uncles
now we storm the jailer, run wild, rabid, into the night.
We are the night.
we bite the hand that never feeds.

Rating: 10 out of 10


Jessica (BookLover) said...

Orgasmic? Really? Hmm... I'll have to add this one to my wishlist. :D

I like the poem you included at the end. Your review has piqued my interest--I'll check it out.

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