My Chemical Mountain

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1774 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

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood!...
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meena Harris debuts with an empowering picture book about two...
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The West Highland Terrier that brought Harvey Comes Home to...
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just...
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to...
The Hunt
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Death marked her from her very first breath. Being...
Swallowed by a Secret
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One dead father. One lying mother. ...
Circus of the Dead Book One
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
There are many ways to die at the Circus...
Roaring
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division...
Court of Lions
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Court of Lions is the long-awaited second and final...
More Than Just a Pretty Face
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a...
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After the events at Llethanyl, city of the elves, Zed...
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Emily Windsnap and Maybe A Mermaid, And...
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Left reeling after her thoughtless mistake causes a terrible accident,...
Hirana's War: Book Two in the Eloia Born Series
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Praise for Eloia Born “Loved it! A well-written narrative...
Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
"If you like, I’ll tell you the story of a...

Latest Member Reviews

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears
 
3.0
"Paola “Pao” Santiago loves science and hanging out with her best friends, Emma and Dante. She doesn’t love how superstitious..."
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
"KAMALA AND MAYA'S BIG IDEA is a picture book based on a true story about pursuing your goals and doing..."
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
"HARVEY HOLDS HIS OWN is a contemporary middle grade told from three perspectives: Maggie, Harvey, and Austin. Maggie is starting..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"Jewell Parker Rhodes writes electrifying middle grade stories that pack emotion into every sentence, and GHOST BOYS showcases that skill..."
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
"AND THEN I TURNED INTO A MERMAID is a cute and funny middle grade fantasy that follows Molly. Molly is..."
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
"AFTER THE WORST THING HAPPENS is a compelling middle grade about dealing with death and loss. Army Morand absolutely adores..."
Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep: Baaad Hair Day
 
4.0
"SHEEP DOG AND SHEEP SHEEP: BAAAD HAIR DAY is a comical picture book about haircuts. Sheep has lovely curls that..."
My Words
 
3.5
"MY WORDS is a cute picture book about language and the power of words. Ava shows the reader how words..."
Sun Flower Lion
 
5.0
"SUN FLOWER LION is a great early reader picture book. Told in very brief chapters, the book captures a brief..."
Feast of Peas
 
4.0
"'Feast of Peas' by Kashmira Sheth, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler, is a cute story that captures how something might be..."
The House of Madame M
 
4.5
"THE HOUSE OF MADAME M is a creepy and interactive book that invites readers to take a tour. They are..."
Like Best Friends
 
4.0
"LIKE BEST FRIENDS is a great picture book to teach about similes. The plot is fairly simple. A boy is..."
Paper Planes
 
4.0
"PAPER PLANES is a sweet picture book about evolving friendships when friends must move away. Mia and Ben are best..."
Good Guys, Bad Guys
 
3.5
"GOOD GUYS, BAD GUYS features children at play and divides them throughout by their actions and roles. The good guys..."
Rad!
 
3.5
"RAD! is a simple but colorful book about trying new things. The book follows five cats, Esther, Chester, Lester, Hester,..."
Thesaurus Has a Secret
 
5.0
"'Thesaurus Has a Secret' by Anya Glazer is a cute story about a dinosaur named Thesaurus. He loves words, but..."
TBH, Too Much Drama (TBH, #3)
 
4.0
"'TBH: Too Much Drama' by Lisa Greenwald is another one of her creative stories told in text messages, emails, and..."
Fresh Princess: Style Rules!
 
5.0
"FRESH PRINCESS: STYLE RULES! is a fun book about marking your mark. Destiny is starting at a new school, and..."
Willow the Armadillo
 
5.0
"WILLOW THE ARMADILLO is a cute picture book about reaching for your dreams and what it means to be a..."
Bad Brows
 
4.0
"BAD BROWS is a humorous picture book that follows Bernard when he wakes up for a day with brows that..."