Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter

Zero Hopeless-Savage has quite an unusual family.  There's her mum Niki Savage, and dad, Dirk Hopeless, famous English punk rockers (now retired) her two brothers, Rat and Twitch, and her sister, Arsenal.  Dirk and Nikki might be retired, but they'll never lose their punk rock roots and they've raised their kids the same way.  No matter what happens, whether it's her parents getting kidnapped or she's dealing with problems at school, Zero knows she'll always have her family behind her.

LOVED.  So much.  I wish there were more.  Greatest Hits is the collection of all the Hopeless-Savage stories, which Van Meter wrote between 2000-2010.  Are there going to be more?  I can only hope.  There were so many awesome things about these stories.  Where to begin?

One thing I liked was how much you learned about the characters.  With each story more and more is learned about the family and we come to understand even better where these people are coming from.  We learn all about Dirk and Nikki's past.  We knew why Rat had left the family and went into *shudder* business for a while, and what brought him back.  We knew about Arsenal's history of getting kicked out of schools and how she took her fighting skills and turned them into a career.  We knew about Twitch and his lost love and how the family will always love him even though he's mod.  And most of all we know about Zero.

Zero is awesome.  She makes up her own words, which I found hysterical and want to use some of them in daily conversation because they just explain things so well.  The first story is when Zero's parents are kidnapped and she and her siblings have to rescue them, but the second story is about how Zero and her mother and going through a rough patch and dealing with a boy she likes at school.  There's plenty of the crazy-rocker lifestyle, but there's also just a lot of regular family stuff.  There aren't a whole lot of books that really show a fully functional family living together and dealing with each other on daily basis.  Either parents are absent, or things are dysfunctional somehow.

The Hopeless-Savage family had to deal with the prejudice of their neighbors because of how they looked.  They are quite a bit different from the other suburban families, and it was often difficult for the kids.  They handled it together as a family though.

A few of my favorite stories were the short "extras" at the end.  Through these we see Zero when she was little (an adorable child with a mohawk) and learn how she met the different friends who would eventually be her band mates.

The art changes depending on the story.  My favorite artist was definitely Christine Norrie.  Luckily, she did the majority of it.  I got used to seeing the characters a certain way though, and when it switched I didn't like it at all.  It didn't seem like the same characters that I had at that point become quite attached to.

But such fun.  Read it!

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