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Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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Deviant

Deviant - Helen  Fitzgerald Have you ever read a book and by the end realized with utmost conviction that you just had media déjà vu? For me, reading DEVIANT by Helen FitzGerald brought on these completely realized feelings that I had lived this book elsewhere, and it only took a few seconds for me to realize why. DEVIANT is the literary replica of the 1990s teen thriller Disturbing Behavior.If you have not seen this movie, please, don’t google it and find out what Disturbing Behavior is about. And if you have seen this movie, there really is no reason to read this book. Well, actually, there are a few reasons that make it a very decent YA thriller. It just really, really reminded me heavily of a certain movie where Katie Holmes played a bad girl and James Marsden played an average teen boy who was labeled a… Well, that doesn’t matter.FROM GLASGOW TO LOS ANGELES…DEVIANT follows young, street-savvy orphan-ish Abigail, a girl raised in a girl’s home following the death of her caretaker after growing up on a commune. Her biological mother who abandoned her has died, leaving her a note and a plane ticket right into the arms of her biological father, a man who seems a bit too perfect, along with his new wife (think Stepford) and rebellious daughter Becky. Except Becky dies suddenly and Abigail tries to put together the clues, including figuring out what Becky was doing with her graffiti project that might just be the clue to everything.Abigail’s life fascinated me, from her beginnings on the commune born to a protestor and raised by another, to the orphanage, to her new life in Los Angeles perpetually untrustworthy of her new family and new surroundings. Some of the events were a bit ridiculous, such as how she got $50,000 from a dead woman and into the US without a passport, but her determination was very nice to read, as was her focus on finding out what was going on with those around her and the mystery of the graffiti portraits of faceless youths with strange letters.Abigail, though, was about the only fully realized character, besides maybe her Stepford step-mother, who really did seem to be an interesting take on the situation, albeit yet another plotline that showed up in Disturbing Behavior.DISTURBING BEHAVIOR – THE BOOKOkay, so yes, this is a book about rebellious teens and the parents that don’t need that for their own aspirations. It’s a book about control and change, in bad ways, and about the teen spirit. At its heart, the mystery is quite good until it becomes painfully obvious, and Abigail’s motivations are sound. The romance in this, if there even was a real one (not the most blatant ever, which is a plus), was left to the backburner in exchange for focus on the mystery elements. Being published by Soho Teen, and Soho being focused on mystery, makes this a perfect choice for this budding young imprint. There is definitely mystery here.I just wish maybe this story had been more unique. Wavering between a three and a four left me with a lot to think about, and this one ended up with a three because of the lack of originality. I have seen this story before, in several forms, and I just wish that some elements had been different and more unique. VERDICT: All in all, it’s a good, solid story with good writing and good characters. It’s downfall is in originality. If you’ve seen Disturbing Behavior, you know all too well how this one will end up. Although, not end exactly. I’m not spoiling everything.