Hi everyone! Today I have another book review: "Meals from Mars" by Ben Sciacca.
First off, I must say that I got this book in high hopes that it would be a inspiring book and not just another polarizing or sympathetic read. The front cover itself called the book "a parable of prejudice and providence." However, in some ways it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
The book begins toward the end of the story, then backtracks twenty hours before the end, telling the story of a well-to-do white guy from the suburbs and a black teen from the inner city. Through a twist of fate, they end up stuck in an icy storm at night in the country together. Neither cares much for the other, and the well-to-do man, Jim, argues about how Malik, the inner city teen, could be something better than he is if he "moved on" or "got a job" while Malik argues about how bad things are and how nothing ever matters and how much he dislikes false sympathy. This arguing (which seemed like whining) continues through the night, and there is little to no resolve between the two men.
I won't spoil the ending (which was a bit predictable, in my opinion), but when I finally turned the last page, I felt that there were more arguments and sympathy than mutual understanding and relief of prejudicial tension between the two characters. I do, however, appreciate that the author wrote the book in such a way that I was given two sides of the story and was not told what to think. Also the book is written with interesting imagery, humor and some relatability. The characters were polar opposites (one has a great, well-paying job, great house, good family life, etc, and the other lives in the bad side of town, is dirt-poor, gets into trouble, speaks very stereotypically, etc), but seemed real enough to be believable. While the book was well-written, I still wish there had been at least some sort of real resolve instead of the sudden, almost unreal ending.
(I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.)