Friday, April 20, 2012

Thirteen Days To Midnight - Patrick Carman

"You are indestructible."  Those are the last words spoken to Jacob before Mr. Fielding, his foster father, dies in a car crash, in which Jacob walks away unscathed.  He has been staying with Father Tim, a good friend of Mr. Fielding, at Holy Cross School. He has been out of school the past week grieving for his foster father's death.  When Jacob goes back to school everyone is talking about the new girl Ophelia, which in a school of 137 students is a big thing.  The first time Jacob sees her she has him sign the cast on her arm.  He writes you are indestructible on the cast.  Later that day Jacob, Ophelia, and Milo, Jacobs best friend, head to the skate park near school.  Ophelia wipes out really bad on the pavement.  She should have died, but Jacob's indestructible power saves her.  The power transfers back to him, and the next day he tells Milo and Ophelia about his power.  Ophelia starts keeping a journal of everything that can be done with the power.  They then set out to help people in danger by transferring the power to them so the people can live.  All that is needed to transfer the power is for Jacob to see a picture and name of the person in danger.  This starts putting a strain on Jacob, and Milo points out that we can't save everyone.  Things start going downhill when Ophelia wakes Jacob at two in the morning because there is a fire at her apartment building.  Jacob transfers his power over, and Ophelia saves a persons life along with a cat that was trapped.  After that Ophelia wants to hold on to the power more and more.  She turns into a different person as the power stays in her longer and longer.  Jacob and Milo take a trip to a cigar shop that Mr. Fielding owned, which will be Jacob's when he turns eighteen.  Jacob discovers a letter written by Mr. Fielding explaining what the indestructible power really is.  After they have this information Jacob and Milo realize that they must do anything they can to get the power out of Ophelia and make her human again.  Can they save Ophelia or will the power consume her to a point of no return?

I enjoyed this book and poses the reader with the question of if you were indestructable how would you use this power you have been given?  Jacob wants to help as many people as he can, but after learning the truth realizes that it isn't possible.  Death is a constant in the universe and when your time is up death will be waiting.  As I was reading this it reminded me of the movie Chronicle, which came out earlier this year.  In it three teenagers gain powers and they try to do the responsible thing with their powers.  One of the teens turns evil, and the other two teens try to save him.  It is similar to when Ophelia starts turning evil as the indestructible power grows inside her.  Jacob and Milo will do anything they can to save Ophelia. 

T.B. 4/20/12

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