This is the second book I’ve read by Will Weaver. The first was Full Service which I absolutely loved. By the description of Claws, I knew it would be a completely different book. The book is filled with twists and turns in almost every chapter. I should have realized the ending would also be a surprise. There are also hints on the cover and back cover that the ending would be sad. On the front is a quote by Anton Chekhov: “Life will sooner or later show its claws.” On the back is a quote that appears near the end of the book: “It’s not the big, tragic things in life that do you in–it’s the small stuff.” The book wasn’t just sad; it was depressing. I was bawling by the end of it.
Anyways, Claws is about a boy, Jed Berg, who has it good. He’s junior in high school with a senior girlfriend. He’s number one singles in tennis. His dad lets him drive his ’69 Camaro. His parents are still together. Of course this doesn’t last for long. His life comes crashing down on him when he meets a pink-haired girl who tells him that his father is having an affair with her mother. Jed, obviously, doesn’t take the news too well.
The ending will frustrate some readers. Weaver could have easily gone the “happy” route at the end of the novel, but he chose the other route, and it won’t appeal to everyone. On Weaver’s website, he states: “I’ve gotten a lot of great letters and emails about it from kids in charter and alternative schools. This novel seems to speak to kids “on the fringe.”” Anyone who reads the novel will see why.
While I still enjoyed Claws, I would have liked it just the same with a happy ending. A sad, instead of a terribly depressing ending, would have satisfied me the most, but life doesn’t always go my way. And life doesn’t always go Jed Berg’s way either.