Destroy All Cars

Destroy All Cars

by Blake Nelson

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Overview

From Blake Nelson, a fantastic and topical novel about idealism and finding the ideal girl. James Hoff likes to rant against America's consumerist culture. He also likes to rant against his ex-girlfriend, Sadie, who he feels isn't doing enough to change the world. But just like he can't avoid buying things, he also can't avoid Sadie for long. This is a fantastic, funny, sexy, cool masterpiece from one of the best YA writers at work today, an anti-consumerist love story that's all about idealism, in both James's relationship with the world and his relationships with the people around him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545230049
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Sold by: Scholastic, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 254 KB
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

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Destroy All Cars 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
misssallySC More than 1 year ago
This novel totally caught me by surprise. I thought it would be a typical ecological story about a boy who wants to save the planet. James Hoff is so much more than that. He is funny and one of the fullest and realest characters I can recall. He thinks about everything and writes about it in a classic teenaged, semi=engaged, semi-not tone. I highly recommend.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
A junior in high school without the burning desire to possess and drive his own car? Yep, that's James Hoff. He believes cars are part of what is wrong in this world focused on consumerism and material wealth. He'll walk to the mall and bike to school, and he doesn't understand how everyone else can't see how they are contributing to the destruction of the planet. James is a bit of an outcast. He shuns consumer goods as much as possible, choosing to wear old clothes, worn-out tennis shoes, even going so far as to cut the elbows out of his sweater to make it look even older and more worn. True, this earns him the odd comment or casual sneer from his classmates, but James does have friends who appreciate his different opinions, and he even had Sadie as his girlfriend for a while. Sadie has her own set of "causes," like saving the whales and running the canned food drives for the hungry. Unfortunately, she left James for Will, but rumor has it that she's broken up with Will recently, making James reconsider his feelings for her. She seems interested in renewing their friendship, but James is sort of hoping for more. Problems on the girlfriend front are just the tip of the iceberg for James. Parental pressure has been increasing recently, as well. He's never really cared much for his father, and when the man left a few years back it seemed that maybe he and his mother would be better off without him. Unfortunately, he returned. Now that James is a junior, his father is asking the college questions. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? James has been thinking maybe college isn't for him, at least not right now. His father definitely has other plans. In an effort to convince James college is the path to choose, his father offers to buy him a car as soon as he applies to a college. How can his father know so little about his oldest son? Why would someone who believes in the destruction of all cars actually want one? Blake Nelson works his literary magic as he creates the perfect picture of teenage turmoil. Using dialogue, journal entries, and Junior AP essay assignments, he reveals the world of James Hoff. Clever, witty, sarcastic, moody, love-struck, and confused are just a few of the adjectives that will come to mind as readers enter his world. DESTROY ALL CARS offers an unforgettable roller-coaster ride through one teen's junior year.
erendida01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
the novel, destroy all cars encompasses a boy that still loves his ex girlfriend, in the beggining he hates cars because it destoys the pollution.
delzey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There's a lot about this book I really, really like, and a lot of stuff that bugs me.James Hoff is a self-righteous, pessimistic seventeen year old who believes Americans consume too much. Cars, in particular, make him angry, but the entirety of consumer culture sends him ranting. Being a hormonal seventeen year old boy, vain outsider or not, he's still interested in girls. In particular there's his obsession with Sadie, his ex-girlfriend of the previous year, a do-gooder who is politically active where James is all talk. James' bile-filled tirades against Sadie ring false because they are, and when he's finally finished floundering around manages to rekindle their affair briefly before they both decide to move on with their new "adult" lives.Throughout the book, James includes journal entries and essays for his English teacher that cover his views on the world as well as his personal life. When he isn't ranting about the destruction of the planet, he's talking about nature, about what it means to be a teen, about friends and family, about the superiority of Oslo, all from the same ill-informed place that most of his adolescent brooding comes from. A classic smart-mouthed dumb ass.Stories like this told in first person ¿ where the reader has to read a little between the lines to get what the main character is really saying ¿ require a deft use of character voice. The tone and pitch have to be perfect, otherwise the spell is broken and the reader becomes frustrated or disillusioned or just plain bored. I don't really like this character of James up front, then just as I start to see what his game is and like him a little I begin to feel a little bored with him. It takes a little too long for the love stories to fall into place, and James' essays tend to belabor their point beyond their intended humor. It feels like if it could just be tightened up a wee bit it would be perfect. Maybe about forty pages too long. And a few more teeth in its bite.Another thing that sort of ruins it for me is the environmental angle being played for humor without any conviction. The kids in the story who are attempting to make a difference or finding effective ways to protest "larger issues" are derided by James and shown to be less deserving success than our disingenuous cynical narrator. Teens probably know the types, and laugh, but what are they laughing at exactly? The shallow big mouth loner kid gets the girl (a few, actually), and he eventually has a last-chapter awakening that lends his previous posturing credence, which seems to suggest that the kids doing things in earnest somehow don't deserve the same thing.Almost a little like a conservative writing a farce about liberals that liberals laugh at without realizing they're being skewered. Only it's teens and their causes and their sex lives being lampooned, and they're probably laughing at themselves without realizing it.For those who care, there's sex involved. Talked about, engaged in, and I don't really have a problem with it... except here I do. I know James and his friends are seventeen, and that real seventeen year olds are engaged in sex, but the characters involved here all feel too young. And by young I mean immature. It's the opposite of the problem TV shows and movies have where they use 25 year olds to play teens; here these characters read, talk and behave like they're years younger then they are. The dialog is genuine, it reads authentically, but it reads like smart seventh graders and not average eleventh graders.Destroy All Cars is a teen romance aimed at boys that deftly uses a pro-environment message as a delivery device. The heart on the cover should be the giveaway, but for boys that don't catch that they might find themselves enjoying the little slice of romantic confusion that Nelson has put together.
elizardkwik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Told through a series of English essays and diary entries, this is the story of 17-yr-old James, who feels that the world is being destroyed by AMERICAN CONSUMERS. However, despite his strong feelings on the subject, he does nothing to try to change the world. He is somewhat obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, who is a leading member of the Activist club. This book strongly reminded me of Catcher in the Rye.
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Destroy All Cars was quite a liberal piece of work. James is irrational and rational at the same time, with his cut-off sweaters, he reminded me of the kid in the back row. The one that makes you wonder, is he doing that on purpose or just for the heck of it? And with his ways of not shampooing his hair, and talk about the corrupt nature of humans you tend to shy away from characters such as he. One of the strongest points of this book has to be James's essays. The reader gets a great sense of his personalities from his monologue. And let me tell you, he does have a lot of things to say. From hobos to soccer moms James tells all on how this society works. Which brings me back to the question if James is as real as it seems. Outside of his snide humor, the actual book was lack-luster. I really did not care for Sadie nor the other girls. The teacher, I have to admit, added some type of humor besides James. Overall: Destroy All Cars seemed to be more of random assortment into a guy's mind. Odd humor, thought-worthy topics, Destroy All Cars was a book to be read on a whim.
devin3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The novel Destroy All Cars, encompasses the idea that love conquers all. In the beginning, James Hoff struggles with the average troubles with teens:acne, girls, school, however he is different in the way that he wants to destroy all of the cars in the world to help with pollution. The protagonist struggles with balancing his global warming views and finding the right girl. In the middle, he has attempted to date a few girls but still can not get his mind of the one that he has always liked.115/198
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
High school junior James Hoff hates Consumer America. He is against gas-guzzling, exhaust-emitting cars; malls; colleges; and pointless food-drive-running, fundraising do-gooders like his ex-girlfriend Sadie Kinnell, whom he still unfortunately has feelings for.James exercises his feelings through his writing, but what happens when that¿s not enough? When his life crosses paths with Sadie¿s once more, and this time in a fight to save a local pond from development, James can no longer hang on to his pessimistic attitude if he intends of growing up and giving himself a purpose in life.Told in English essays, screenplay dialogue exchanges, and diary-like entries, DESTROY ALL CARS is a unique approach to the development of a young and interesting pessimist. This book¿s strengths lie in its writing and its protagonist. The variety of writing formats perfectly yet uniquely captures the confused, angsty, and passionate mind of a teenage boy and makes for great reading.To avoid falling into the pit of believing that the supporting characters are underdeveloped in this novel, it¿s important to keep in mind that DESTROY ALL CARS closely follows the thoughts and beliefs of its protagonist, James. We see the world as James see it¿see it in all of its screwed-up, apathetic, apocalyptic anti-glory. James cannot fully understand the motivations and actions of the people in his life, and thus, neither can we. And that is perfectly okay.James is far from being the most attractive or likable protagonist ever. He doesn¿t hesitate to criticize others¿ charitable acts as useless, yet fails to do anything productive himself. It is his hypocrisy, however, that makes him appeal to me: the world is full of well-intentioned hypocrites, not perfect knights in shining armor. James¿ flaws make him a realistic, believable, and, ultimately, enjoyable protagonist.DESTROY ALL CARS is not for the light-hearted; it challenges you to think about universal environmental issues and the sense of uncertainty and inadequacy one experiences in adolescence. Nevertheless, it is a great read, a far cry from other, often vapid or painfully awkward novels that try to give you glimpse into a teenage boy¿s mind.
rebekah21 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The novel, Destroy All Cars, encompasses how a young boy wants to save the planet and get the girl he likes at the same time. In the beginning James, the protagonist stuggles with saving the ecosystem and getting the girl he still likes. Throughout the middle he perserveres through rejection from his teacher and park creators. By the end he has learned that not everything can go his way, and he doesnt get everything he wants.
johnny10 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The novel, Destroy all Cars by Nelson, Blakeencompasses Child Abuse (theme). In the beginning, James Hoff, (the protagonist¿ name) struggles with getting back with his ex girlfriend. Throughout the middle he/she perseveres through help stop population with the cars and tries to get back with his ex girlfriend . By the end she/he has learned he can't get what he wants . (end with the number of pages you read/number of pages in the book ¿ 244/244