Monday, September 28, 2009

Grand & Humble

You can stop rolling your eyes now—I wasn’t talking about myself with this post's title. Grand & Humble is a book by Brent Hartinger, and I finished reading it last night. So I thought I would tell you what I thought.

For a quick recap: Grand & Humble is told from two perspectives: Manny and Harlan. Manny is poor, Harlan is rich, to put it simply—though the characters have a lot more depth beyond their economic status. We follow both as they are plagued by visions of their own death, visions they’re trying to explain. The book switches between the two guys’ point of view, which works very well for keeping the pages turning. A snappy, engrossing read.

The story has nice diversity to it: a deaf character, a gay character, which I appreciate a lot. My mind was there anyway, as this has been a topic of late in publishing, and the theme for next year’s YALSA symposium. And Brent Hartinger, like in his previous novels, knows just how to add diversity without making it feel like it was done for the sake of being p.c.

I won’t talk too much more, because I’ll give the ending away. Which was a real whopper I didn’t see coming. Not a mystery as I had hoped (no crime), but a good puzzle with characters who act. Which I like. I’m giving Grand & Humble a 4.5 out of 5, so go read it. Even if it isn’t a mystery.


  1. Sometimes I think YA novels have more depth and diversity than adult novels. Why do we think YAs need this and adults don't?

  2. I couldn't agree more. Plus YA has that same punch short fiction has, since it's shorter.