Leo has been arrested on suspicion of building a 1000 megaton thermonuclear bomb in his school cafeteria at St. Marys.
His weapon of mass destruction destroys the school and several nearby towns and endangers the lives of millions.
But because of the things that he did in his past (prostitution and manslaughter), Leo will never be innocent.
Now Leo must face the consequences of his decisions, even if the time for that has long passed.
The plot is genius.
It was a fantastic idea for a book because it gave the reader a chance to peek into Leo’s mind, to see what he was thinking about as he was thinking about the disasters that he caused.
It’s also an interesting contrast to the earlier Leo.
He’s not a sleazy kid, he’s not a psychopath, and even though he knew that he was doing wrong, he went ahead and did it anyway.
His family comes to visit Leo at St. Marys, and his family is a little rough around the edges.
Leo’s grandmother is a prostitute, his brother is a kid with multiple degrees who went to Harvard but doesn’t know how to tie a tie, and his sister is a stripper, though she quit after their parents got divorced.
His dad is a priest and his mom is a big drinker and a sex addict.
Despite what his family looks like, Leo is the center of the family.
His grandmother spoils him and allows him to do whatever he wants.
His family includes people who are all involved in illegal activities.
The family Leo has been given isn’t perfect, but he loves them all the same.
Leo’s the kind of kid who could be killed in a classroom.
There are, in fact, many ways he could be killed.
Kids can be dumb and careless and Leo does lots of stupid things, but he’s not a stupid kid.
At least, not anymore.
He’s a genuinely nice, genuinely good kid, and his goodness is genuine.
His goodness is a little scary at times.
No matter how far he seems to have fallen in the eyes of the public, you can’t help but think that he’s the best kid out there.
His innocence and goodness shine through like nothing else can.
At the same time, the world at large may view him as a saint, but that doesn’t change the fact that the plot is completely ludicrous.
Leo plans to build a nuclear bomb.
He pulls it off.
He builds the weapon in his lunch room, because they’re able to design the bomb without it being made in a government facility (a plot hole as big as the Great Wall).
He goes on a quest to find his long – lost father, even though there are no records of him leaving St. Marys at all.
He steals some medical files, grabs some fake documents, and escapes the country with the aid of a high – security prison (in a country without a government).
He builds a 1000 megaton bomb in the cafeteria of his high school, which will kill roughly 75% of the world’s population, if detonated in a populated area.
And he is hailed a hero.
Some of the events that take place don’t make a whole lot of sense.
If the story is supposed to be about how his friends turn against him and they don’t want him to play the hero, the events don’t really support that.
There’s some sort of social game he’s playing with his friends that seems completely pointless, as far as I could tell.
The only way that I can wrap my head around the plot is that it’s about how easily people can turn on you if they get the chance.
It’s about how one small slip – up can push a person past their breaking point.
Leo was once an idiot, an evil kid.
His dad made him into a hero, and that’s what makes him more heroic than his former self.
With each loss and rejection he faces, Leo becomes more and more a saint, and that’s what people love most about him.
What I’m not so sure about is how the author has Leo ‘own’ the missile.
When he’s building it, he tells us that it’s his design, that it’s his brainchild.
That means that when he’s taken into custody, they’re not going to give him the device to build his bomb.
The entire reason that Leo got the weapon in the first place was that his dad wanted him to have a weapon and this was the best one the government could come up with at the time.
(And it wasn’t as secure as they thought.)
If they wouldn’t give it to him if it was stolen, why would they let him keep it if it wasn’t his to begin with?
The parts of the book that worked were the parts that were inspired by the classic children’s books I loved as a kid.
Leo draws his own comic and keeps track of his exploits in a pocket diary.
When he gets caught by the government, they need to come up with a solution to the situation quickly, so they start thinking up ideas and Leo makes notes.
This is actually an excellent use of comic book – style narration and old – school journaling, but it feels like it would have worked better with less comic book elements.
The other things that worked were the bits and pieces of the plot that were so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but giggle.
The core of the book is built around a high – school cafeteria, which is a basic staple of any adolescent’s awkward adolescence.
So when they decided to build a nuclear bomb, they built one in the cafeteria.
After the first explosion, you can practically hear the smug smile on the face of the scientists involved.
See, they told us that if you set the world on fire, we wouldn’t be here to see it.
We wouldn’t be here to help clean up the mess.
It would be gone in an instant.
In case you were wondering, the kids who were drawn to Leo were not sympathetic characters.
It didn’t matter how good he was.
They never saw his side.
They were too busy lording their power over him.
He was not good.
He was almost as bad as me when we were kids, and he was that way from the first day of school.
After the bomb goes off and they end up as casualties of the blast, they don’t care about helping him, because the high school is now reduced to rubble.
Leo did something that not even I, the heroine of my book, have ever done.
For one moment, I considered what would happen if I set the whole city of Chicago on fire, but I know better than that.
I would be run out of town on a rail before I did something that reckless.
But he did it.
I had never thought about it like that.
It’s not until his friends blame him for their deaths that he snaps out of his sadness and realizes what he’s really fighting for.
Then he fights back.
It’s his own personal fight.
It’s the fight for the way he sees the world.
It’s the fight to do what he thinks is right.
It’s the fight to make sure that his friends are remembered.
And maybe if I was ever in that position, I would fight, too.
We all have the responsibility to remember our friends.
I’m glad that this book gave me the opportunity to think about the bigger things in life, but it didn’t leave me thinking.
It didn’t come up with a new way of looking at myself and my friends and the world around me.
I didn’t get my heart broken.
I didn’t break the rules and save the world.
I didn’t fall in love.
I got schooled, in an interesting way, but still…
That’s the thing about school.
You have to show up every day to learn something.
And you’re never too old to learn a few things.
loved most about Dale’s book.
In addition to those things. Leo has been found in a shady estate in Brixton London. He was found with 11 thermonuclear bombs in his bathroom and has told the UK government to give him time and space to find a solution.
If he can’t, the UK will be destroyed.
He’s holding them to the Marconi treaty that has kept nuclear weapons out of the hands of civilians. So he thinks.
in a year’s time, his friends from high school are going to gather in the cafeteria at their high school and, when the day arrives, I will be there to meet him and welcome him home.
If I’m not there, he’ll have created a diversion and a plane will fly out of the CIA hangar with a tracking device on it.
He will disappear forever, and they will have to destroy the school as a result. Leo is a highly intelligent child who’s lost his way.
He thinks he’s invincible.
He’s worried about his friend who ran away with his girlfriend.
is convinced that the government has every intention of killing him.
He’s made some very bad decisions.
He’s made some bad decisions that he’s made to keep himself alive, and he’s worried that, because of these choices, he’s going to destroy the world. This is a book of ideas.
And Dale does an excellent job of conveying the weight of each one.
It feels like they are heavy and dense, like books are supposed to, but are somehow missing.
(This is really happening?!)
very good read, and it is probably one of the best I have read in a long time.
(My prediction: these kids are going to become highly successful writers one day.
Because this is not just a kid’s story.
This is a book about big things and
the choices we make that affect those big things.
It’s a book about sacrifice and friendship and perseverance.
Leo has the world at stake. In the past 11 months Leo has created 79,000 thermonuclear bombs he has ready to fire at all the countries in the world unless the British government gives him and his new friends a time to sort things out.
Even the governments of other countries are backing him.
He has created 11, 000 of these bombs.
The world has less than 2 weeks to find a solution, or the consequences will be severe.
Dale S. Brown wrote the novel in his senior year of high school.
Over the years he’s traveled the world, as a Peace Corps volunteer, and
as a youth pastor.
He’s also a leader and facilitator of many different types of community conversations.
#story #working #spent #hours #working #Feedback #appreciated
One CommentLeave a Reply
It’s too long. Nobody is going to read that shit.