Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
Age group- Teen/YA
Published by Square Fish
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rating- 2 stars
After Brent gets rejected by the girl of his dreams, and humiliated by a group of potential friends at a party, he angrily drives himself home. Intoxicated, and pissed off, Brent just wants it all to end.
He takes his hands off the wheel, presses down the accelerator, and closes his eyes.
And wakes up in a hospital. Brent's attempted suicide failed, but unfortunately, he took someone down with him. Lea Rosalia Santos Zamora, a 18 year old with an exceptionally bright future. Lea's mother only has one request. Go to the four corner states of America, Washington, California, Florida, and Maine. Make whirligigs in for Lea, so that even though Lea is dead, she can still affect people all over America
Set on this quest, Brent travels the country, building whirligigs in lea's honor. He discovers that all actions do have consequences, whether they are good actions or bad, someone is always affected by your work. For better or for worse.
I know what your thinking. This book sounds totally cool, so whats with the 2 stars? Well it does sound cool. That's why I wanted the book. It had complete potential. but whirligig, didn't live up to its expectations. The book moves way to fast. lea is not characterised at all. and how can someone who affected Brent so strongly be barley mentioned, before he goes on his quest. This book could have had such depth, but they only glimpse at topics that could make this book excellent.
It seemed rushed, and I didn't feel much of anything when I finished. the flash forwards to when people discovered the whirligigs, were seemingly random, but could have been knit into the story making it much, much better.
the one thing I liked is how they did the whole 'actions have consequences' thing, because when you initially read that, you think how its bad that he drank and drove, and killed lea. then that changes when you realise that the humiliation at the party lead to Brent's drinking, which lead to Lea's death, which lead to Brent's whirligigs, which humbled Brent, and inspired so many other people, and impacted their lives.
and its kind of cool when you inspect the chain of events.