ON THE HEAD OF A PIN by Mary Beth Miller

ON THE HEAD OF A PIN

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Headstrong hooligan Andy quaffs way too many beers at a party in his dad’s cabin, and at the party’s end, he drunkenly and stupidly brings out his dad’s rifle. The gun goes off, instantly killing Helen, the wealthy blonde prom queen who’s practically affianced to impoverished, artistic Michael. To keep from getting caught, Andy coerces his hyper-religious best friend, Josh, and crazed, knife-toting burnout, Victor, to help him dispose of her body and plant the murder on Michael. Not only does this trio of bipolar-personality stereotypes’ coming together seem completely unlikely, but also their personalities are so extreme that little room is left for true relationship building. As a result, no true connection occurs between the boys, and Andy and Victor’s idle threats soon become tedious. The story itself, which unfolds through the alternating thoughts of Josh and Michael, becomes lost in a jumble of overblown emotional outbursts mixed with a handful of overpowering subplots. Strangely enough, the only fully fleshed character in the novel is Helen, whose angelically self-aware musings bookend this long-winded melodrama infused with way too much Catholic guilt. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-525-47736-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2006




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