Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Lottery, by Beth Goobie

Every year, the school's unofficial Shadow Council would select a student in the Lottery to become the "dud" of the year, condemned to carry out the Council's dirty work, and shunned by the entire school. This year, Sal becomes their victim. But Sal's story is complicated and the choice of her turns out to be less random (and more fateful) than anyone could expect.

An odd mishmash of idea, this novel has a great premise but allows itself to get bogged down in subplots that don't really add to the story (a borderline autistic student, a dead father, an uncommunicative mother). In such circumstances, I am prone to believe that the author needed a better editor. Goobie is apparently well-honored by her native Canada so she can write, but she doesn't apparently know enough to write a trim and taut story (which a thriller like this really wants). As a result, some really interesting conclusions get lost in the haze.

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