Like We Care
By Tom Matthews (Bancroft, 261 pages) Although this debut novel suffers from too-frequent dips into the pool of neo-pulp cliché, Like We Care is still an inventive and enjoyable read. Matthews harnesses the adult angst so many of us feel when observing the crass and semi-evil way that "those kids" are marketed to commodified rebellion, legitimized hatred and turns it all upside down with an absolutely unbelievable plot device that involves a national, kid-led boycott of said bullshit. Of course, the boycott is a marketing scheme of its own, wouldn't you know, but that doesn't make it any less delicious to consider. The multiple plotlines Matthews weaves through the tale are all simple, funny and packed with the requisite batch of just-this-side-of-archetype characters that makes books like this such breezy fun.