It’s saturday night in Santa Barbara and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the same party. Or at least it seems that way. The place is packed. The beer is flowing. Simple, right? But for 11 different people the motives are way more complicated. As each character takes a turn and tells his or her story, the eleven individuals intersect, and reconnect, collide, and combine in ways that none of them ever saw coming.
This is not a book I would pick up lately. I’ve been in a historical/romance/paranormal (sometimes all in one book) groove as of late and this book, covered with teen faces, just wouldn’t have screamed, “Buy Me Now!” Boy, I was so wrong!!!!
This story, ostensibly about the intersecting lives of 11 teenagers on the night of a party, is more about what it means to be a friend, a parent, a lover and a decent person than anything else. I enjoyed all the characters in this book as individuals and was intrigued from the start by their unique voices. But as the tale wove on to it’s violent climax and cathartic ending, I found myself thinking about how these 11 teens were an interesting look in on society at large. And I’m a little embarrassed to say that the ending floored me (although if I tell you why it would be a major spoiler, so I won’t).
I loved how all of these narratives came together into a cohesive whole, ratcheting up the dramatic tension along the way. I loved how the individual isolation of the characters, something enhanced by the progression of discreet view points, spoke to the universal and seemingly ubiquitous sense of teen-age angst and alienation. And I loved how the book left me with a hopeful outlook at the end.
This is a swift, fascinating read and you’ll be so glad you picked it up!
As I mentioned in my review, this isn’t my typical fare (although anything by Tom Leveen will be in the future, because this book was so well written). I was lucky enough to win Party by retweeting an entry on Twitter. I just wanted to thank the lovely Meg O’Brien from Random House for hosting the contest that put this great book into my hands.
If you enjoy Party as much as I did, definitely check out Tom Leveen’s webpage and Facebook page, both are filled with interesting tidbits and funny stories (including a snippet of his wedding video!). He’s an author you’ll want to follow because he has MAD SKILLZ!
And to help you get this book into your hands, I’m giving away the signed copy I won! That’s right, it’s a….
Just let me know in the comments if you want to be entered and leave me your email address and you’re in! You can get an extra entry if you follow Tom Leveen on twitter and another one if you follow Random House Kids on twitter. Pretty easy, right? Entries will be open until Wednesday, September 22 at 10pm CST and this is for the US only.
Now go and get lost…in a book!