Sunday, June 10, 2007

Anyone else see an alien baby and rubber duck in those clouds?

Kinda an odd book, this one. Bit of a mix between John Green (which I love) and King Dork (which I hate).

Stan's always been...unusual. In some ways he's far behind his peers, but when everyone freaks out that he isn't learning to print, they find out that he actually has a genius IQ. He can do large math in his head quickly and has a Rainman-like encyclopedic knowledge of movies. The entire small town expects great things from him - especially since he won that chess championship. Now he's graduated from high school and he's got no plans for college. He works in a video store, dreams of writing a screenplay and is in love with a girl who's dating a guy Stan spends most of his time focused on avoiding. See, that guy has sworn to kill Stan, and Stan doesn't doubt that he meant it. And now, suspicious, scary things keep happening to him...

Can you see Going Nowhere Faster reminds me of Katherines & King Dork? There's a bit of a mystery Sean Beaudoin used as a plot device (like Portman's novel), but mostly there's a great deal of humor as our hero stumbles his way through life and love. He's obsessed with list-making, each chapter is named after a movie, and the text is sprinkled with his failed script ideas. All of which are entirely amusing. The most hilarious moment came when his mother unexpectedly picked him, his little sister and the girl he's crushing on up from the park. Mom's eccentric and completely unaware. She mortifies poor Stan. I had to put the book down, I was laughing so hard. I think my neighbor hit our shared wall at that point. Or that might have come later. I don't remember. Appendix A is worthless, but Appendix B is great.

I successfully avoided absent parents, but guess what I didn't avoid? Road Trips. Luckily, this one happened off-screen, and the soul-searching was performed before the cross-country trek. But seriously, authors? Enough with the road trips.

YA Books with Road Trips that I can think of off the top of my head:
Abundance of Katherines, The Real Question, Becoming Chloe, Born to Rock, Tallulah Falls, Honey Baby Sweetheart, Beauty Shop for Rent, Guyaholic, Defining Dulcie.
I invite you to add to these in the comments.

Reading: 235 pages in 2 hrs 9 minutes
Posting: 44 minutes


Becky said...

Hit the Road by Caroline B. Cooney
All the Way by Andy Behrens

Jackie Parker said...

Thanks, Becky! Any others, anyone?