The Always War by Margaret Peterson HaddixDystopian Fiction
Haddix is one of my favorite authors and I was disappointed that I didn't like one iota of this book.
Tessa and her generation have only known war, never peace. Tessa has been a little awed by her neighbor, Gideon, a returning war hero. Her awe soon turns into serious hero worship. Gideon doesn't want her worship, or anyone else's. He retreats to his room a depressed mess and Tessa is desperate to find out why. One day, Gideon can no longer stand the adoration and runs away. Tessa follows him, determined to find out why he considers himself a coward.
Gideon steals an airplane and is going to fly into enemy territory and either confess to his sins or surrender himself. Tessa sneaks aboard. What Gideon and Tessa discover is earth-shattering, both to themselves and the reader. I never would have guessed this plot development in a million years (okay, I liked that iota a little bit). I love that Haddix is an author who always challenges me to think outside the box.
The book was just okay. Usually, Haddix's books keep me gripping the seat but this one just didn't. It did have that fascinating techno-vibe to it that Haddix is known for, a modern sci-fi, hi-fi. But, the characters just didn't grab me. They never really felt like actual people, only stiff. The book left me with many questions that were never answered--most notably, what led to the war? Why is their current society in such a mess? I feel there is a story behind that story that was more interesting than the snippet I saw.
It was a short and easy read but I just can't recommend it.