Genre: Fiction, YA, Contemporary
A heartfelt, humorous story of a teen boy’s impulsive road trip after the shock of his lifetime—told entirely in lists!
Darren hasn’t had an easy year.
There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.
Then one Thursday morning Darren’s dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.
Told entirely in lists, Todd Hasak-Lowy’s debut YA novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone, including yourself, is:
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all.
What I thought about this book
This book is told entirely in lists, at first I was like what I love lists! Now after over 600 pages of lists I’m really starting to despise them.
In this story we meet Darren, a teenage boy who gets given a massive shock at the start of the book, after hearing the news he then quickly leaves to go visit his brother who is at university. In over 600 pages we follow Darren’s life of love and parental arguments, homosexuality and divorce.
Although this book is very inventive (yes it really is entirely made of lists), I think we soon realise why this has never been done before. You just can’t go into that much detail with the book being entirely in list form, it just doesn’t make a good writing style. The blurb makes it sound like Darren immediately leaves to go to see his brother however after 15o pages nothing has really happened, this is the trouble with lists. There is only so much information you can put into a list and therefore it requires a lot of lists in order to get your point across as to what the story is about.
At the start of the book we are given some pretty shocking news however from that it literally becomes related to everything in the story. I feel like although it was a large piece of information I don’t think it would change everything about your life. The book from then on becomes all about this topic and just when you think we might be wondering somewhere else nope, something happens so that we are drawn straight back to the original issue just in case you thought you’d forgotten.
Also there was the whole teenage love thing. I get that teenagers are in love however again I think this was taken way too far, they literally only knew each other properly for one weekend. Surely you cannot be that infatuated with someone after one weekend? Also Zoey is very weird, I get that she has issues but there are just parts that seemed to convenient for the story.
What you need to know about this book
It is mainly about homosexuality and teenage pining. It is told in lists which get very repetitive and takes a while to get into the story. Nothing particularly happens in the story and although it was over 600 pages it felt like a 200 page book as the lists did extend the page count however did nothing at all for the plot.
Summing up: Unique idea but shouldn’t be repeated