Thursday, August 30, 2012
Send by Patty Blount
Patty Blount's novel Send is a poignant story. I don't think I can pick a better word to describe this story, unless you count "bittersweet." This story does not end in a neat bow, nor does it have a ridiculously happy or sad ending. Send is about the how every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It's about how one choice can mark and change the course of your future, but it is also about forgiveness and self-acceptance.
The beginning of Send we meet Daniel at the front of his new school on his first day. He is witnessing a typical "Jock" harrassing a scrawny "Nerd". After battling with his inner self (Kenny) Dan decides to interven. This becomes a common theme to his life. Dan is constantly at the rescue, and he tries so hard to make sure no one will be tortured if he can help it. During all this the reader becomes aware that Dan committed a crime, that he went to Juvie and was harrassed like the scrawny kid (Brandon), and that Daniel is not his real name.
As the book progresses so many little puzzle pieces fall into place. At his new school no one knows who he is and what he did when he was 13. Kenny is the person living within him and sometimes Kenny will show up in Dan's back seat or sitting next to him. Kenny is 13 and Kenny is Dan's crutch/falling grace/alter ego/sickness/self-hatred. No one knows about Kenny and that Dan has active conversations with Kenny. This is an important character and a piece of Dan that shows the readers how desperate he has become because of the fallout of his actions when he was 13.
Julie Murphy is the love/hate/love interest in this book. Their first meeting did not go well because Julie watched the fight involving Jock (Jeff) and Nerd (Brandon) and did nothing to stop it, so it was up to Dan to step in, with his jaw. As you read you notice there is something Julie is hiding and while you know Dan is hiding something, he never talks about it, until the end. All the reader knows is that at age 13 Dan hit send and someone died, he went to court, later to Juvie and 5 years later is when we meet him. What Julie is hiding is pain. She hurts because her brother committed suicide when she was 13, her father is obssessed with finding the boy who he thinks killed him. As time progresses Julie and Dan get close and share certain parts of their story, but their complete stories don't come out until the end.
This is such a complex book that Blount has woven. Lies, perceptions, and truths all come to head in this great story of mistakes, vengance, love and hate, and forgiveness. Even though you might think you know what is going on and how these stories and lies are connected, nothing will prepare you for what happens at the end.