Hopeless Savages: Break by Jen Van Meter
Art: Meredith McClaren
Hopeless Savages remains a super cute book about this punk rock family through the lens of Zero. One of the most interesting aspects of Zero’s point-of-view has been how she seems her family history. She sees her parents as super accomplished. Zero only knew them as their sober, more together selves, who’d already figured out how to raise children. Same with how she views her older siblings.
Of course, this also means Zero has high expectations about what it means to tour.
All those expectations are soon to fall down, which makes for an entertaining book.
I am unsure if Zero actually cut herself on purpose; though it is clear she was depressed. It is interesting how she feels she can’t lean on her family. Which, no doubt, had more to do with Zero feeling like she needed to be an adult and take care of things herself.
It was nice to see that her family wasn’t as together as Zero thought. Rat’s depressed himself; Arsenal can’t make her twins be quiet; Twitch is in a contract he can’t get out of; her mom Nikki gets hurt on tour; and her dad Dirk’s bored at home and reconnects with an old friend and bandmate, who’s dying.
No matter what, the Dust Bunnies were likely to be in over their heads. And they get a competing band, which the competition means neither of them really win. Which is so true to life.
The strongest part of this series has always been how the family’s stories echo each other and how they all come together. Of course, Rat must help his mother. And Arsenal must assist her brother. And everyone must figure out how to calm the children.
The subplot with Zero and Ginger’s romance falling apart was a bit ridiculous. Him getting held hostage by his classmates to do their homework was silly. Same with Zero fretting about why he wasn’t showing up. You’d like think they’d have email or other contact with each other that doesn’t require a phone.
Mostly, Zero needs to see how human her family is and how much she needs them. No matter how grown up she seems to be or wants to be. Break is another stellar addition to this series and a lovely coming of age tale.
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