Point of View

Delacorte. Dec. 2019. 192p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984851765.
Gr 9 Up–Lucas is a 16-year-old withdrawn, overweight French teenager who doesn’t get along with his father. Despite playing tennis at a local club, Lucas’s parents Sebastian and Marie notice that he has trouble staying active and making friends. He also has trouble keeping up his grades and staying awake in school. When Lucas’s computer stops working, his dad takes it in to get fixed. This is when he discovers his son’s secret: Lucas stays up all night looking at pornography. As Sebastian and Marie argue about how to address this with him, Lucas grows more reclusive and miserable, and eventually makes a disastrous and life-altering decision. The book follows his attempt to move forward with his life and details his attempts at recovery. The novel does not show Lucas discovering pornography; when the story begins, Lucas is already addicted and he very quickly recounts the circumstances that brought him to this point. This happens much too rapidly for readers to develop a rapport with his character. The narrative gives much more attention to his parents, how they work through the discovery of their son’s addiction, and their disagreements over how to handle it. Much attention is paid to Lucas being overweight, which seems superfluous to the plot.
VERDICT While the story, and Lucas, become much more absorbing in the book’s third act at a rehabilitation center, it does not make up for the disjointed and message-heavy first half. Not recommended.

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