Rotters by Daniel Kraus
April 5, 2011 by Random House Childrens Books
Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true, that Leonardo Da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.
Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.
Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters makes Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about father's and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of morality.
Where do I begin? How do I find the words? Rotters is one of those books that leaves you speechless, numb, breathless, disgusted and creeped out, but all in a good way.
Rotters is a story of a boy who goes through hell and back. The pain that Joey goes through, both physical and mental is truly heartbreaking. As a mother and human being I could not help but want to protect him. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that the bullying that Joey is forced to withstand, although extreme? Happens to numerous kids across North America on a daily basis. Although, what happens to us during our lives should not define us as human beings? All too often it can and does.
This book is not a happy story by any means. It is not for the faint of heart or for those with a weak stomach. It took me a little longer to get through this book, simply due to the fact that I had to put it down frequently and regroup before continuing. It should most definitely be read on an empty stomach!
In the end, would I recommend this book? I whole heartily believe this is not for a younger reader. I would recommend this for the 16+ readers. But, yes. If you are prepared to have both your heart and gut wrenched from your body? Give this one a read.
Rating: 4 stars!