Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Realm of Possibility

The Realm of Possibility, David Levithan
categories: coming of age, book in verse, alternating narrators, romance, gay/lesbian
Grade: A-

This book has been on my list of books to read for a while now, and I'm so glad I did! Levithan accomplishes a few things of note to an English teacher. First, he manages to write an entirely coherent, beautiful book entirely in various types of verse. My favorite is "the day," Jamie's chapter in which he details, excruciatingly well, the difficulty of making it through the day after his girlfriend has broken up with him. Levithan walks the reader through the day alphabetically, each stanza taking on the next letter of the alphabet, not stalling or getting too caught up in the plot device, but instead becoming better for it. The "t" stanza starts every line with "the" and goes through the entire alphabet again. Another device of note for those looking for literary techniques is the alternating narrators. Each chapter is a different narrator, and yet the stories begin to entertwine more and more as the book progresses. It is a bit difficult to keep track of who is talking and how they fit into the greater story, but a little extra reflection solves this problem relatively easily.
Overall, a brilliant book. It could easily be read and used as a whole or in parts, as each chapter stands alone and yet the book in its entirety is equally as strong.

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