Review: Project X

Project X
Project X by Jim Shepard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Project X follows 2 middle school boys as their disaffection grows.

Friendless, sleepless, confused, awkward, and periodically physically beaten up by schoolmates and psychologically neglected by school officials, they half-heartedly plan to murder everyone at their school at an upcoming assembly.

The narrator, Edwin, is not a rotten kid. His parents know something’s making him sad but he can’t express himself to them. He stays up at night lovingly watching over his little brother. Edwin is pretty sure no one will miss him if he were dead.

I don’t know what to do with this story. It bothers me, it’s sad, it’s believable. Shepard writes right into the reality of being a lowest-rung adolescent and the helplessness and desperation that could lead someone, who is otherwise potentially good, to do awful things.

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