Reviews for Truancy

Booklist Reviews 2008 April #2
The premise of teens combating an oppressive education system will entice readers to this heavily marketed novel centering on a young martial-arts expert who joins the ruthless Truants to undermine them but becomes caught up in their broader mission. Author Fukui is only 18, and his debut harbors many signs of an author still in high school: his writing can be overwrought, and, despite a pacifistic jacket-flap comment, he lingers so gleefully over the carnage as rebel dropouts plunge swords, snap necks, and throw homemade bombs that the message can't help but seem a little dilute. Most teens, however, will take the combat scenes in the graphic novel-influenced manner in which they were presumably intended, and many will hear--and embrace--the passionate critique of high-school experience wrapped within the Truants's battle cry: All kids are branded as a single faceless mass and herded through school like cattle. Recommenders, especially those in school settings, will find themselves torn between teens' interest and the novel's focus on violence in an educational context. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 June

Gr 8-10-- Tack, 15, lives in a dystopian society where a corrupt government oppresses its citizens, starting when they are students. A group of young resistance fighters called the Truancy violently strikes back against the system. Tack joins the movement after his sister is accidentally killed in a Truancy attack on a government official. His intention is to murder its leader in revenge, but he finds himself drawn into the group's philosophy and is torn between wanting to bring down the government or destroy the ferocious resistance. This hefty novel is not unlike an action movie or video game. It starts fast and barrels on with not one subtle moment. It is full of elaborate, graphic fights. The characters are amazingly skilled in a wide variety of unbelievable ways. Described as "kids" or "children," they are nonetheless portrayed as expert assassins, brilliant tacticians, even world-weary bartenders. Readers are beaten over the head with how evil the government is, how oppressed the students are, how unsympathetic adults are. According to the back cover, the author wrote the book "in one month the summer of his fifteenth year." He shows a lot of promise, but more experience, in life and in writing, might greatly improve his style. While Truancy may be popular with some readers who feel as though adults don't get them and school is oppressing them, it is a strictly additional purchase for robust SF collections.--Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT

[Page 140]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2008 April
Fifteen-year-old Tack struggles to survive in a dystopian City where the Mayor and his band of goons, the Educators, rule with absolute power. Tack, his sister, and most other young people are locked into the deadly educational system where they are bullied by some of the most vicious and sadistic teachers in teen literature. Some former students, calling themselves the Truancy, have actually managed to get out. Under a charismatic leader, Zyid, these urban guerillas have pledged to bring down the system by any means, at any cost. Tack shuns both the Truancy and the Educators, until he meets a mysterious boy named Umasi in an abandoned part of the City. Umasi, equally skilled at gnomic utterances and deadly martial arts, becomes Tack's mentor and trainer. When Tack's sister becomes collateral damage in a firefight between Educators and Truants, he joins the Truancy, seeking revenge. Increasingly he finds himself torn between a thirst for vengeance and a growing sympathy for the guerillas. Fukui wrote his novel in just one month during his fifteenth summer. It is a big, raw, sprawling action film of a book, combining martial arts, street fighting, midnight raids, rooftop flights, and a high body count. Grammar and style are not priorities here; the sometimes clumsy and cliché-driven text may cry out for a strong-minded editor, but the intended audience will not care. Action rules, and teen boys will swallow this book at a gulp, demanding more.-Jamie S. Hansen 2Q 4P M J S Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.