Thursday, July 15, 2010
Review: Party by Tom Leveen
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 – one character per chapter – the eleven individuals intersect, and reconnect, collide, and combine in ways that none of them ever saw coming.
Examining friendship, dating, racism, sex, loss, and parents who truly don’t get it, PARTY invites you to join in the fun and drama of the biggest event of the year. Everyone’s invited. See you there! (YA)
I have to say I had next to zero interest in reading this book. The cover and blurb made it sound like I would be spending the day with a group of pretentious alcoholic brats. I am reading and reviewing all of the Class of 2k10 books however, and Party is part of that class so when Lena from http://addicted2novels.blogspot.com/ offered to let me read her copy I was thrilled because it meant I didn’t have to buy it. Harsh – I know. Well the joke is on me because I loved this book so much that I read it in four hours AND I’m going to go buy my own copy anyway!
Party follows the stories of 11 people whose lives intersect as they go to the big end of the school year party. Each chapter is written in a different POV which I thought would get annoying, but since they overlap at times you get a very good picture of what’s going on from all perspectives.
At the risk of dating myself – this reminded me of an updated version of The Breakfast Club. We have the geeky/shy girl, the skater boys, the jock, etc. People from all walks of life get together and see that their preconceived ideas and impressions of other people aren’t always correct. I’m sure there are more recent references but what can I say…I’m old.
I am finding that some of my favorite books this year are from the male POV. This has both girls and guys POV but my favorite chapters were from the guys as they tried to figure out what the heck makes girls tick. I’m curious about that myself at times. Not everyone is likeable and I’m sure some people won’t enjoy this book for that very reason. Ryan is a man-whore by his own admission, Josh although obviously one of the good guys has definite anger issues I think need to be explored. Morrigan is a bratty teenager looking for attention in all the wrong places, Beckett and Max’s story is by far the sweetest. There are also Tommy, Brent, Daniel, and Azize. Ashley is a common thread throughout all the stories.
Because it is told in 11 points of view you do miss some of the background story to the characters. You do have to take a leap of faith with some of the storylines and fill in the blanks for yourself but I didn’t mind.
I was laughing my ass off for most of the book and there were so many good lines to quote. I kept a list and my poor husband had to be subjected to hearing the whole list. Here's one of my favorites because it’s just so sweet and swoon worthy and in no way a spoiler. I won’t even say who it’s by - it speaks for itself even out of context….
“You are a weird, weird chick, I think. And I’d give anything, anything in this world to make you feel better. Or kiss you.”
My only quibble would be with Anthony’s storyline. He’s a star football player with a lot more going on than whether he makes it to the pros after high school. His storyline required a little more foundation than it was given and I felt he got off WAY to easy. I don’t think you can resolve his type of issues that quickly.
As a true testament of how much I loved this book it made it into my subconscious. When I really love a book I usually dream about it – alternate endings – bonus chapters (I know I'm a dork!)….and I did with this one. I imagined their first dates, all of them when their older and who they would end up with.
Loved: It made me laugh. Leveen could have easily added another 100 pages and I would have been a happy camper. Max + Beckett = sigh.
Nitpick: Didn’t love the Anthony storyline. Not that it wasn’t important because it was – it was too important to be handled so quickly. Some POV’s weren’t as interesting as others but all facilitated the story.
Rating 3.8 One of my favorite books this year! Very fast paced. Just the type of escapist fun summer reading I’ve been looking for!
Authors website: http://www.tomleveen.com/
Buy the book! Party
*Tom Leveen is a member of the Class of 2K10: http://www.classof2k10.com/ . Go check out what's coming up next!
*check out all my Class of 2K10 book reviews on my sidebar under the "Class of 2k10 Debut Author Challenge Book Reviews & Interviews!" button.