January 5, 2012

Book Review: Tilt by Alan Cumyn


Published by Ground Wood Books July 2011
272 pages


Stan is an intense sixteen-year-old loner who desperately wants to make the junior varsity basketball team. And it seems that he may be about to do so, until he’s blindsided by the unexpected attentions of Janine Igwash. Suddenly Stan is no longer thinking about jump shots. Instead he is obsessed with Janine’s spiky hair, her milky white shoulders and the mysterious little tattoo at the base of her neck, not to mention the heat of her breath, her dark eyes, wide hips and . . . Sometimes Stan’s imagination runs so wild he wonders whether he might be going crazy. That would be par for the course given his home life. His mother is dating the feckless Gary, and his little sister, designated gifted but a holy terror, is acting out. Then Stan’s father arrives on the scene with Stan’s four-year-old half brother, 
and things become truly insane

My Thoughts:

  I love when books surprise me and Tilt offered a lot more than I initially expected.  I'm not easily hooked on contemporary fiction especially one with a male protagonist, but Stan was so easy to like and I rooted for him.   
  His dad's abandonment left his family devastated and as they slowly put the pieces back together, Stan is left to take on more of a parent role for his sister and his Mom ( I was not a fan of hers) as well. Amidst all the turmoil at home; his sister's  insistence that their father is coming back soon, and his desperation to make the junior varsity basketball team, Stan falls for an unlikely girl who stirs things in him he had never felt before. Her mixed messages confuse him and without someone he can really talk to he is left to figure things out on his own. Just as he thinks he might be getting it together, someone unexpected returns and all (heck) breaks loose.  
 I think Tilt has great appeal for  teens who enjoy the contemporary genre (girl or boy). The story is compelling enough to hold the attention of any reluctant reader.  Similar authors like Corey Whaley, Jay Asher, and Gordon Korman came to mind as I was reading it. Recommended. 

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