Monday, September 9, 2013

Quick: "Refresh Refresh" by Danica Novgorodoff, Benjamin Percy, James Ponsoldt.

Quick: Refresh Refresh by Danica Novgorodof (graphic novel), James Ponsoldt (screenplay), Benjamin Percy (original short story), 2009, 9781596435223.

Comic book novel.

Three teenagers in Oregon have fathers deployed to Iraq with the Marine Reserves.  The three are struggling through the stress of worry for their dads.  Two boys are poorly supervised and one boy has man-of-the-house duties on his head.

The three kids regularly beat each other up as a way to toughen up.  To be worthy of their own father's bravery and combat time.  One of those weird teen ideas that develop from misunderstandings of war and manhood when they are left without guidance and pull ideas from TV, movies, and a teen's view of the world.

The three all await word from Iraq.  One kid constantly hits refresh on his web browser hoping for an email from his father.  A local Marine recruiter chats people up, notifies families of dead Marines, and dates the wives and daughters of deployed Marines and soldiers.  The three get even with a school bully.  The three drink at a bar and one guy spends the night with a divorced gal after lying about his age.

All three wonder what they will do after high school graduation.  One has been accepted to University of Oregon.  The other two are looking at enlisting.  One late night, after drinking, they return home and the recruiter is there to announce one of their dads has died.  Angered, the three beat the Marine up, tie him up and kidnap him to a remote crater.  They tie the Marine into a sled and shove him down into the snowy crater.

They know they are screwed for what they just did.  The only way out is enlistment. So they do.

1.  I presume enlistment  gets them off the hook because then the Marine would get credit on the enlistment and write the whole thing off.


Rick Robinson said...

I must admit the plot sounds pretty nuts. I hardly think they'd get off the hook, especially here in Oregon.

Kelly Robinson said...

Up to the assault, it sounded kinda bittersweet.

Gerard Saylor said...

Yeah, turn in plot with the kidnapping was odd. I think it was just a way for getting the college-bound kid derailed into joining the service. He was supposed to be escaping his small town life and the path other people were pushing him on.