Friday, November 09, 2007


Life has never been easy for David. With his bug eyes, pinched features and obvious hearing aids, he has never been Mr. Popularity. Now he's been transplanted from New York City to Nowhere, Minnesota, put into a foster home while his mother, a drug addict, tries to work out her problems. His foster parents are two of the kindest people he could have hoped for, but the kids at the local high school are another story. The school bully has already chosen David as his newest punching bag. David, though, is keeping a secret. One of his "defects" gives him an amazing ability, and David uses it to put his tormentors in their place. But the aftermath of his victory results in unrelenting payback, and the school administrators want to make the problem go away--literally. David ends up attending the alternative high school where he makes friends for the first time, and even--could it be?--a girlfriend. But David's closely guarded secret soon becomes public when two of the alternative kids witness him in a moment he'd thought was private. And suddenly the entire world focuses on his secret ability. Is David a miracle, proof that God exists, or a monster that needs to be "fixed"?

This is the second Will Weaver book I've read, the first being Full Service, which I found to be a complex, quiet read, one I definitely recommend but also fear many readers might not have the patience for. Defect is far more likely to catch and hold the average reader's attention. Will Weaver's writing is beautiful. The first person voice of David is a good one--intelligent, bitter, sensitive, and angry. How does a young man live in his not-perfect body? If he had the chance to be made "normal" would he, or should he, take it?

This is a fast, thought-provoking read. It would probably make a great book discussion choice.

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