Friday, February 11, 2011

Surface Tension: A Novel in Four Summers
Brent Runyon

rating: 3.5 out of 10 "books"

Surface Tension by Brent Runyon tells the story of teenager, Luke, through the course of four summers. Beginning when Luke is thirteen, readers get to experience the progression of feelings, attitudes, experiences, and views that Luke has as he matures summer after summer. Although the story focuses solely on his family’s summer trips up to the lake, Luke’s first person narrative provides us with enough background information as to what happened during the times in between summers to provide readers with a general idea of how Luke’s life has changed. From his wonder at nature and focus on becoming the best rock skipper at age thirteen, to his anxiety over his summer away from his girlfriend at age sixteen, Surface Tension provides an interesting perspective into how fast a person can change in so little time.

If you’re looking for a quick read, I’d recommend this book. Although the idea of chronicling four summers of a teenage boy’s life sounds like a good idea, my biggest complaint is that I felt like the story wasn’t very well developed. I felt the book could have been a lot better if it had gone more in depth with the character and the story, adding more chapters or something. A word of warning too: some of the material in this story may not be suitable for children, so although places the reading age at grades 8 to 11, I’d definitely recommend Surface Tension to the higher teen reading audience.

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