Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crossing Lines by Paul Volponi

Crossing LinesCrossing Lines by Paul Volponi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What I really liked about Paul Volponi's novel, Crossing Lines, is the way he uses each character to further the confusion of the main character, Adonis. He's a guy's guy with a conscience and doesn't really say how he feels all the time. But Adonis has depth of character and he agonizes about his relationship with Melody, his body image, and his "rep" on the football team. Adonis has a strong family with an attentive firefighter dad, a mother who is a caring mother and teacher, gently admonishing Adonis to do the right thing. It is Adonis' sister, Jeannie (with lots of attitude), who becomes on of Alan's friends and Adonis' curse. Jeannie throws herself into the Fashion Club as VP and advocate of Alan's fashion choices. With the start of senior year, Adonis just wants to stay out of Alan's way, but that won't happen because Alan is his partner in a class project, at his house running Fashion Club meetings, and in the school halls or gymnasium causing chaos with his lipstick and dresses. It is Adonis' football teammates, his father, and Alan's father, a decorated officer in the Army recruiting office, who continue to drive home that Alan's choices are not welcome. Adonis agrees with everyone when he is with them, but he does silently hate the harshness of Alan's father toward his son; the constant, outright slander and bullying that Alan endures daily from the football team, and how he has to worry about keeping Melody and his buddies from finding out his true, conflicting thoughts. The tension Volponi creates for Adonis is palpable and increases as the guys on the team become more convinced that Alan needs to be dealt with once and for all. Teens and reluctant readers will be rooting for Adonis and Alan as events conspire to make Adonis realize he can't just stand on the sidelines; he needs to cross the lines of life and accept differences "in order to celebrate" himself.

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