small crimes / big hearts

this book sat on my shelf for a little while. and, no, that's not a bad thing. how i purchase books is a little different from a lot of people. i don't just buy a book and then read it. that would kind of ruin it for me. some books i want for months and months and i visit them every day make sure they look good sitting there where they are supposed to be on the shelf. i kind of have to get to know a book before i buy it. because you know, just because i work in a bookstore doesn't mean i have some sort of infinite amount of moolah to spend on whatever looks kind of appealing (although i have been known to judge a book by it's cover). anyway, once i bought my little stack of books that month when it was time for this book to come home with me - i let it sit again on my bedside table for a little while before finally picking it up to read really, an old friend by that time...

i loved it's charming illustration on the cover. heard an except on wiretap. fell in love with the main character, baby, and her way too young father, jules. of course, it doesn't hurt at all that it is set in montreal and reading about montreal makes me miss it more than i ever thought i could.

heather o'neill's book, little criminals, (winner of the 2007 canada reads) is a novel that i frankly think is impossible to resist. you'd have to have a heart of steel. no really. i really don't think anyone could read this book and shrug, "mehhh...". i meet all kinds of readers - but really, even the ones that are all "i can't read sad things..." yeah, yeah, i know... tears you apart. (isn't that part of the deal?) but all asides aside, there is hope amidst a hard world here.

the places that jules and baby live in and come from are a product of a cycle of hardship due to all sorts of sad abuses: drugs, poverty, social services ... misguided youth. and baby is a brave soul trying to hang on to the last bit of her youth. i really loved this book. and baby. yes, i cried.