The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy

The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy

Book - 2014
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"When a sleazy reality television show takes over Ethan's arts academy, he and his friends concoct an artsy plan to take it down"--
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2014
ISBN: 9780385753784
Branch Call Number: YA FIC HAT
Characteristics: 323 p. ;,22 cm.

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JCLChrisK Dec 23, 2014

If you have ever wondered what it's like to be me, or a teenager, or a human, that does a pretty nice job of explaining it. The tremulous fusion between self-trust and self-doubt.

JCLChrisK Dec 23, 2014

"Yes!" said BradLee

It was rare that I exacted an exclamation point from a teacher. They used a lot of ellipses when talking to me: "yeah but . . ." or "okay . . . " Elizabeth gave me an air-five from across the room.

JCLChrisK Dec 23, 2014

I wanted to call her a bitch. I almost did. But I couldn't get the word out. I started wondering whether that'd be sexist, and then I started thinking about how many thoughts could squeeze into the tiniest pause between words, and then I started thinking that now I was thinking about my thoughts, and also thinking about the fact that I was thinking about my thoughts, and how that could go on forever, as if my first thought had been placed between two mirrors and now there was an infinite, recursive series of thoughts. And then I thought about how everyone else probably thought about thoughts too, and how there were so many thoughts out there, an oppressive consciousness ladled over the globe like a thick, congealing sauce.

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JCLChrisK Dec 23, 2014

Great voice. Ethan is an excellent character and his story is so entertaining due to the great narrative voice he uses to tell it. He very quickly becomes a real, relatable person, full of doubts, characterized by witty commentary, and a lot of fun to hang out with even during his hard times. He also, over the course of the story, resistantly learns about himself and others, growing just enough to be believable without changing so much that he comes across as just a happy fiction.

Ethan's story is of his junior year of high school, when the arts academy he attends with his friends is invaded by a TV reality show that is being filmed there, with some of the school's students as its contestants. He and his friends decide to protest what the show is doing to the educational experience at the school, starting with a poem they disperse as an underground newspaper. Things escalate, friendships are tested, and all manner of trouble ensues.

Despite the clear criticism the book aims at reality television, my biggest criticism of the book is that it's too kind to the form in its final assessment.

4.5 stars.

Chapel_Hill_KarinM Dec 01, 2014

This was the book of 2014 that made me laugh til I cried. Three friends at a magnet/arts school protest when a reality TV show starts filming at their high school. Hijinks ensue in a big way. Love the humor, love the friendships, love the not-so-subtle reminders about the importance of literature and art in everyday life. So good.

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