» » Playing with Matches

Download Playing with Matches epub

by Brian Katcher

SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD LEON SANDERS has a mug that looks like it should be hanging in a post office somewhere. If he didn’t have his twisted sense of humor, he’d have nothing at all. So it’s no wonder to Leon and his friends that the gorgeous Amy Green will never even look twice at him.However, there is one girl who might: Melody Hennon. Everyone at Zumner High keeps their distance from Melody because she was burned in a childhood accident. Leon has avoided her, too, until the day he tells her a bad joke and makes her laugh. Although Leon worries what people will think of him dating Melody, he’s happy to have someone in his life who thinks he’s special. That is, happy until Amy Green asks him out after Leon saves her from getting detention. Will Leon give up a shot with the Beauty so that he can live the fairy tale with the Beast?From the Hardcover edition.
Download Playing with Matches epub
ISBN: 0385905254
ISBN13: 978-0385905251
Category: Teen
Subcategory: Literature & Fiction
Author: Brian Katcher
Language: English
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 8, 2008)
ePUB size: 1334 kb
FB2 size: 1675 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 606
Other Formats: lit rtf azw mbr

This is a YA book that I really enjoyed even though I'm much older than a young adult ; )

I breezed through it in one day. I really felt for Melanie and I wish the author did some sort of epilogue at the end where we could see how everyone turned out. I'm burned much more than Melanie, but there's something unique about facial burns and how other people react to them (as opposed to arm/leg burns). He portrays her accurately as someone who grew up ostracized and bullied by her peers, yet is smart and funny regardless. Curious as to why and how he got the idea for a book on a burned girl. There needs to be more books on the subject, imo. She was well-developed as a character and definitely my favorite out of everyone. It was very much a believable story. Another book that is similar to this one is Firegirl (but I liked this one better).
I wanted to give this book a better rating because it was well written, funny at times, and the characters were fully realized. But the main character was hard to like, especially after he shows his true colors. I lost all respect for him and stopped caring about him so I just sort of pushed through the story, hoping things would get better. But they didn't really. I understand why the story ended the way it did, but it wasn't very satisfying. It's not really a happy ending.
Brian Katcher has a unique voice in the YA world and Playing With Matches is a book like none I'd ever read before. To be honest, I didn't expect to like it. That changed by the end of the first page. Really.

I'm not going to recap here, as the author's blurb does a wonderful job of introduction, and I'd hate to spoil this story for anyone. What I will say is this: the dialogue is realistic, the characters are genuine, and the plot moves along at the perfect pace. There are elements within the text that can be difficult to read, but as much as I sometimes cringed at some of the internal thought processes of our MC, I laughed out loud more often than I can count.

When I look back at this story, it is with a fondness and appreciation I will never articulate well enough. Read it. This author is well worth your time.
I am a teacher of young adults and a YA writer, myself. I ordered the book because I'm also writing a story about a burn victim. When I picked it up, I thought it might provide me some research material that may be useful, but what I got was much more. I literally read it in one evening, because I was dying to know how things turned out with Leon and Melody. Katcher's voice is astounding, and I was instantly rooting for Leon. The empathy and seriousness of the topic regarding burn victims is touching, but the author wrote the book in such an entertaining manner, that I didn't feel preached to.

Katcher understands popular teen culture and language. His use of slang is right on the mark, and he describes the high school experience quite effectively and believably. I am very impressed by Katcher's first novel. I believe he will be a YA writer to watch. Although his protagonist is male, I feel that girls will love this book. In fact, it may be more geared to a female audience because of the romantic elements. This is quite a feat for most male authors--to close in on an opposite gender audience. I feel that males will like the book as well. They will undoubtedly relate to Leon and his dating dilemmas. The sexual tension in the story is also right on the mark for YA. Katcher's voice reveals this tension...the male yearnings for sexual experience and its preoccupation.

The characters are diverse and enjoyable, and the book is a delightful and insightful read. I will definitely encourage my students to read this book, and I'll look forward to more from Brian Katcher. Bravo!
Brian Katcher just does it over and over again. I first read his second novel Almost Perfect over the summer and ADORED it so I knew I had to soak up some more of his witty writing in this book. HE SHOULD WRITE ANOTHER!
A wonderful book. You can't help but fall in love with the adventures and foibles of lead character Leon Sanders as he finds himself caught in a love triangle. Hilarious and witty and touching. Can't wait to read his next effort.
Read this book, also check out Almost Perfect.....Brian I hope you write more soon...Can we have follow up t both your books