I read this back in my “it’s cold and winter is never going to end so recommend real bummers for me to read and justify my self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder” period. Having previously read something by Adam Rapp (Punkzilla), I expected 33 Snowfish to meet my criteria. Rapp is an author who, rather than making adults defend their choice to read a Young Adult novel, instead makes one question if it’s okay for young adults to be reading a Young Adult novel.
The subject matter is bleak (this is the story of runaway children – a pyromaniac, a drug addicted prostitute, a severely abused former kidnap victim and a baby). The prose is gritty, raw, and well, basically makes you just want to throw in the towel on having any sort of faith in humanity until the very end.
Rapp takes the cake when it comes to writing YA that crosses all lines and not being afraid to get really dark to make his books as real as possible. Recommended for only the most mature of young adult readers. Be prepared to openly discuss matters such as drugs, prostitution and sexual abuse while they are reading. And don’t forget the cookies. Make sure you have some cookies to counteract the sad.