Friday, February 18, 2011

Debugging Tori Redding by Jason Ancona

Debugging Tori Redding by Jason Ancona
Published: December 20, 2010
Publisher: Jason Ancona
(300 pages, ebook)
Summary: Fed up with her peers and their loose morals, Tori starts a new school program, the Not So Fast club, a group dedicated to keeping teens from doing everything they want to do--drink, have sex, and rush to grow up. 
A severe toothache interrupts her plan, sending her to the dentist, where she's given an emergency root canal. During the surgery, she's electrocuted and ends up blacking out. When she awakes, her brain has the ability to function like a computer. 
Tori uses her new skills and aggressive personality to charge up the club.
Hated by the entire school, she discovers that NSF now stands for: Narcs Suck Farts. Game on. Tori memorizes every school rule, issuing tickets for every little infraction.

After a serious crime occurs, Tori must use her talents to save a life, all while trying to free herself from her mind.
My thoughts: The concept for Debugging Tori Redding was what first drew me in. I mean, how cool would it be to have a computer for a brain? Or so I thought, anyway. I really loved Tori as a character; she wasn't like most teenagers (and not just because of her computer-brain). She wants kids to slow down, and think about their actions instead of racing forward and growing up so fast. She was a complex character, and she was a bit of a smart-ass. Which I can always appreciate. The story was nicely paced, and while it wasn't the deepest or most thought-provoking plot, it was thought-out and a light, enjoyable read.
I really liked the way Ancona executed the whole computer-for-a-brain part of the story. It was weird and kind of random, but it worked, and it worked well. It was a nice device (and definitely handy for Tori - even if it did have its problems) and it was really original. Which, if you've read any of my reviews, you'd know scores a lot of points for me.
My favorite part of this novel was the message it conveyed. A lot of YA promotes moving forward and growing up while still in your teens, and while I don't dislike those novels, I liked how different this one was. Tori is genuinely concerned about her peers and I liked the way Ancona portrayed her. She was wacky and out-there (like I'm one to judge) and I really enjoyed reading about. The secondary characters, while I felt were a little bit un-fleshed-out were still good characters and they helped the story move forward.
I have to say, the writing in it wasn't fantastic. Despite the original story line and how much I liked Tori, the writing sometimes got a little strange, considering it was third-person omniscient and in present tense. It felt a little clunky. One of the things I wasn't expecting about this novel was how funny and realistic it was. Having grown up (and still living with) brothers of my own, I felt Tori's pain, and I admired how much she stood up for herself. But overall, I really enjoyed reading it. The story line was interesting enough that I didn't get bored, and the pacing was great. I would recommend Debugging Tori Redding to readers looking for a light, easy read with an interesting twist.
Covering the Cover: I really like the cover. So much I wish I had it as a hard copy. It's perfect for the story, and it looks cool.
Characters: 3/5
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 3 stars


Cindy (Oodles of Books) said...

Hmmm, this does sound interesting although maybe not for me. Great review :)

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