Thursday, January 7, 2010

Inferno by Robin Stevenson

Dante legally changed her name on her sixteenth birthday, but her Grade 11 English teacher insists on calling her by her old name, Emily. It’s been over a year since Dante and her parents moved half way across the country, but she still doesn’t fit in. At her old, artsy school in a cosmopolitan city, Dante’s teachers loved her. “At my new school? Not so much. Apparently what was seen as ‘independent thinking’ back in the city is called ‘attitude’ here.” (The setting for this book is pretty vague, with no specific cities mentioned. It could be Canada or the USA.)

Grade 10 at the new school was bearable because Dante was wrapped up in romance with Beth… but now Beth has moved away. It was a secret affair; nobody is out at Dante’s school and she hasn’t said anything about her sexuality to her parents, either. Somebody new has caught Dante’s eye, however. Parker has sled-dog blue eyes and no eyebrows. She quit school but comes by to pass out flyers. “WOOF, WOOF. YOU ARE NOT A DOG. WHY ARE YOU GOING TO OBEDIENCE SCHOOL?” When Dante joins Parker’s small circle of activists, she was hoping to escape from the hell of school. But is she jumping into the flames instead? Grade 7-12.

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