Ostrich by Matt Greene
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Pages: 336 (Paperback)
This is Alex’s story. But he doesn’t know exactly what it’s about yet, so you probably shouldn’t either.
Instead, here are some things that it’s sort of about (but not really):
It’s sort of (but not really) about brain surgery.
It’s sort of (but not really) about a hamster named Jaws 2 (after the original Jaws (who died), not the movie Jaws 2).
It’s sort of (but actually quite a lot) about Alex’s parents.
It’s sort of (but not really) about feeling ostrichized (which is a better word for excluded (because ostriches can’t fly so they often feel left out)).
It’s sort of (but not really (but actually, the more you think about it, kind of a lot)) about empathy (which is like sympathy only better), and also love and trust and fate and time and quantum mechanics and friendship and exams and growing up.
First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Ballantine Books/Random House Publishing for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
This book doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t really go in one direction, just kind of in a criss-crossing place that left me with a confused, ‘huh?’ look on my face by the end. To be honest, I’m still not even sure what the hell I just read is about days later. However,(thanks for the tips, Alex) I don’t mind the confusing storyline and the fact that it doesn’t really have a point. I’m okay with this because like Alex, I get carried away too easily. I think about useless things that shouldn’t matter too much and over-analyze them which is what made me love Alex and the way he thinks things over.
Even though I liked the main character, I can’t say I liked all of the info-dumping on things I didn’t care about at all or even remotely made sense to me. There is such an abundance of information that at the end of a chapter, I felt utterly confused and couldn’t remember what was happening in the story before I got all the information on this or on that. With that being said, it’s obvious that some parts of Ostrich are disorganized and confusing with the story being mostly about himself and his relationship between Chloe and his parents.
Some of the things that I liked about the novel are that Alex is not your typical pre-teen trying to fit in. He’s just himself with his obsession over languages, pets, and words just to name a few. It’s nice seeing a character that like to question everything around him and find out the answer for everything. Another thing I liked is the writing and how straightforward it is. Reading about Alex and all the things he’s learned and is still learning made it easier to accept the writing style being of a pre-teen. The relationship between Alex and Chloe is just so cute. They’re confused and young and weird which makes the relationship that more real. When I was thirteen everything was weird, especially boys even though I spent most of my time with them. I understood Chloe and her tactics to spend more time with Alex by doing the dumbest things to become friends with him.
Matt Greene does a nice job of creating a story about nothing and trying to make it into something more. Recommended for anyone looking for a light novel before it’s time to crack open the textbooks *shudders* and start school. This is not a bad novel, just don’t think too much about what’s going on and focus on Alex’s weirdness.
For quotes from this book, click here.