My Chemical Mountain

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1904 1
My Chemical Mountain
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
June 11, 2013
ISBN
978-0385742429
Buy This Book
      
Rocked by his father's recent death and his mother's sudden compulsion to overeat, Jason lashes out by breaking into the abandoned mills and factories that plague his run-down town. Always by his side are his two best friends, Charlie, a fearless thrill junkie, and Cornpup, a geek inventor whose back is covered with cysts. The boys rage against the noxious pollution that suffocates their town and despise those responsible for it; at the same time, they embrace the danger of their industrial wasteland and boast about living on the edge.

On a night the boys vandalize one of the mills, Jason makes a costly mistake--and unwittingly becomes a catalyst for change. In a town like his, change should be a good thing. There's only one problem: change is what Jason fears most of all.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A 'Chemical Mountain' Worth Climbing
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Purple and white gooey juice-filled cysts. That’s the result if you’ve ever wondered what would happen when you multiply the devastating effects of corporate neglect seen in “Erin Brockovich” by about ten. That’s also what you get when you read Corina Vacco’s “My Chemical Mountain.”

“My Chemical Mountain” follows the teenage trio of Jason, Charlie, and Cornpup. The three boys live in a rural New York town dominated by the chemical plant Mareno Chem. Mareno Chem is a double whammy offender in the boys’ community: not only do they produce materials that have horrific effects on humans, they also dump their chemical-laden waste into the town’s forest landscape, poisoning trees, creeks, wildlife, and the local residents. Cornpup’s been so affected by the company’s products that he’s got those lovely cysts referenced in this review’s opening line, and Jason’s dad, a Mareno Chem employee who was working hard to reveal the company’s questionable practices, recently died in a suspicious accident.

What instantly stands out about this book are Vacco’s elaborate pictures of what a forest town would look like ravaged by chemical waste. The landscapes she describes include silver mercury trees, fluorescent green creeks, and forests dotted with rainbow-sheened puddles. Her words create such an eerie and otherworldly feel that it seems as if “My Chemical Mountain” is set on another planet entirely. Add in the physical effects that manifest themselves into alien-looking sores and deformities on the local animals and residents, and that otherworldly feel is completely solidified. Despite their nefarious causes, Vacco’s chemically-ravaged landscapes and wildlife come across as beautiful.

My favorite part of the book was that while Vacco could have understandably made the struggle against this chemical villain the main focus of the story, she instead focuses on the nuances of her characters’ friendships and families while living under these deadly and unique circumstances. Jason, Charlie, and Cornpup each have interesting backstories, and their odd friendship that has been shaped by their chemical surroundings seems at once sad and desperate yet unbreakable and heartwarming. These boys could give the Three Musketeers a run for their money, as nobody could climb a chemical mountain with nearly as much daring, strength, and endurance as these guys.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Neighborhood Surprise
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
All the children in the neighborhood like Mrs. Fig. She...
Jet the Cat (Is Not a Cat)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jet is not like any other cat . . ....
Clique Here: A Wish Novel
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lily loves science and hanging out with her best friend,...
Smoke and Mirrors: The Heartstone
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Corbin, a powerful shapeshifting young mage, was just beginning to...
Better Together
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap in New York Times...
Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
With over 30 million copies in print, Anna Dewdney's New...
City (Wheels at Work)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Delivering, collecting, transporting and recycling! Lift the flap to see...
A Season of Flowers
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Michael Garland (Daddy Played the Blues) displays his impressive illustration...
You Are Fantastic!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Hello!Lucky, the creators of My Mom Is Magical! and...
Early One Morning
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Join a little boy searching the farm for his breakfast...
Little Sap: The Magical Story of a Little Forest Family
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A little tree, guided by her family circle and forest...
The Little Things: A Story about Acts of Kindness
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One girl’s simple act of kindness causes ripples in her...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine proclaimed...
The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...

Latest Member Reviews

The Neighborhood Surprise
 
4.0
"THE NEIGHBORHOOD SURPRISE is a sweet picture book about community coming together. Mrs. Fig is one of the favorite neighbors..."
Jet the Cat (Is Not a Cat)
 
5.0
"JET THE CAT (IS NOT A CAT) is a charming picture book about a cat who does not quite fit..."
Clique Here: A Wish Novel
 
5.0
"Lily has decided she really needs to leave her private school after an embarrassing incident with mean girl Courtenay, so..."
The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
 
4.0
"Mars Patel idolizes Oliver Pruitt, a powerful tech giant who also runs Pruitt Prep. Mars and his friends Toothpick, JP,..."
Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
 
4.0
"LLAMA LLAMA MEETS THE BABYSITTER is an overall fun new installment in the Llama Llama series. Following the usual format..."
You Are Fantastic!
 
5.0
"YOU ARE FANTASTIC! is a brightly colored and cheerful read celebrating YOU! The book walks through some metaphorical compliments, such..."
Early One Morning
 
3.5
"EARLY ONE MORNING is a picture book walk around a farm. A little boy heads out to find a couple..."
Little Sap: The Magical Story of a Little Forest Family
 
4.5
"LITTLE SAP is a beautifully illustrated story about growing up, seasons, and forests. Little Sap can't wait to be a..."
The Little Things: A Story about Acts of Kindness
 
5.0
"THE LITTLE THINGS is a charming and powerful story about the contagious nature of kindness. A little girl heads to..."
Ducks on the Road: A Counting Adventure
 
4.0
"DUCKS ON THE ROAD is a charming and simple picture book with a counting theme. Mama and Papa Duck are..."
Sloth and Smell the Roses
 
5.0
"SLOTH AND SMELL THE ROSES is another charming and colorful book from the fantastic sister duo, Eunice and Sabrina Moyle...."
Bird House
 
5.0
"BIRD HOUSE is a lovely story about a young girl and her abuela, who find an injured bird. They treat..."
More Than Sunny
 
4.5
"MORE THAN SUNNY is a sweet picture book about siblings, seasons, and childhood fun. The story features two siblings who..."
Busy Little Ladybug
 
3.5
"BUSY LITTLE LADYBUG is a cute board book about a ladybug that loves colors. Ladybug wants to figure out what..."
One Springy, Singy Day
 
4.5
"ONE SPRINGY, SINGY DAY is a brightly colored and fun celebration of spring. Told in rhyming text, the book follows..."
The Lost Continent (Wings of Fire, Book 11)
 
5.0
"It was a good book i really want to buy is so i can read it all the time. I..."
Boy, Everywhere
 
5.0
"Sami has a happy and secure life in Damascus, Syria. His mother is a teacher, his father is a doctor,..."
That Thing About Bollywood
 
4.0
"Sonali misses her grandfather, who ran a video rental store that specialized in Bollywood films, so she enjoys the family..."
Thanks a Lot, Universe
 
4.0
"Brian has anxiety at the best of times. He manages at school, and was on the basketball team, but he..."
One Girl
 
3.5
"In very spare poetry, we see how the spark of a book encourages one girl to investigate the information in..."