Posted on January 25th, 2013 by pajamapress
“I enjoy the succinct nature of novels in verse. The format does, however, require careful and evocative word choices. The author must say a lot with a little, or the reader is left with too many gaps to fill and too little direction to make sense from. Jill MacLean successfully meets the challenges of the format of a free verse novel in her new book Nix Minus One. The powerful, moving story is told from the first person perspective of 15-year-old grade 9 student, Nixon Humbolt.
…The complexities of Maclean’s novel add depth and believability to the story events and the multi-faceted characters she has created. As the flawed and troubled Nix lurches from one situation to the next, the reader is constantly hoping for him to emerge with happiness and success. At his core, he is a brave and caring individual hampered by insecurities, a distinct lack of confidence, and limited ability to verbalize his feelings.
Despite experimenting with a new format, MacLean has produced another wonderful novel. She is to be applauded for respecting her readership and refusing to shy away from difficult topics. As mentioned, this book tackles sensitive issues and oftentimes delivers powerful and upsetting punches. Nix Minus One is a book for mature readers, but those readers will be rewarded with a story well told.”
Gregory Bryan is a professor of children’s literature at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.
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