So I just started If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko (who didn't like Al Capone Does My Shirts?) and I know I need to give it more of a chance, but so far it's not sending me. It's another two-hander (as they say in the theatre biz) that might be suffering in my mind by comparison to Thirteen Reasons Why.
Rich, chubby Kirsten meets scholarship student Walk [semi] "cute" on the first day of seventh (?) grade: her mother seems to chase his mother out of the parking lot (I think it's fairly easy to predict what that's about). Kirsten appears to have a unhappy home life (mostly absent father, overly involved mother), and her best friend seems to have moved on.
(As an aside, this has been a recurring theme in the books I've read this week: A Crooked Kind of Perfect and Candyfloss [with my eyes] both feature this situation. It's getting old.)
Walk is black, and most definitely in the minority at their exclusive private school. Determined to keep his head low and his grades high, Walk somehow stands up for Kirsten when she's accused of stealing her teacher's wallet. (The mean girls [including former BF] have planted the evidence in Kirsten's backpack.) Obviously, some "unusual" friendship is going to result from these encounters.
The two readers are fine. There's something very odd, though -- Kirsten's narration is in the first person, while Walk's is in the third. So every time Walk starts reading (which he does by saying 'Walk' -- also very annoying, but I understand that the publisher needs to read every part of the book for an unabridged version), you expect to hear 'I' and are jarred by hearing 'he.'
Of course, that's not enough to pass any judgement ... these are just thoughts at the end of the first disk.