Happy Bookanista Thursday y'all! Today I'm off to Ohio for the weekend to celebrate a very dear friend's wedding. Yippee! But before I go, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on an absolute gem: STREETLIGHTS LIKE FIREWORKS by David Pandolfe.
I read and loved David's first novel, JUMP WHEN READY, so I knew I had to pick up his newest. And I definitely wasn't disappointed! First, a little more info:
Psychic flashes, haunting visions, missing persons and visits from ghosts. That's just their first date.
Jack has been getting on his parents' nerves for some time. Bad enough he's a rock musician, has crappy grades and hangs out with his "loser" friends. But Jack's ability to predict the future-well, that just annoys the hell out of them.
Jack's classmate, Lauren, is said to have unique abilities too. The town still talks about when she kept badgering her mother about the money in their wall. For the longest time, Lauren's mother didn't listen. Finally, she did and Lauren's mother hasn't had to work since.
Jack would really like to connect with Lauren but can't figure out how. She's never looked at him twice. But when he experiences a mystifying event involving visions, voices and spectral visits, Jack figures there's only one person to help him understand who's calling out to him and why. Before long, Jack and Lauren are off on a road trip of discovery that could provide answers to a mystery left unsolved for twenty years. More importantly, they might even unravel the greatest mystery of all- how every so often someone will accept you for who you are.
One of David's greatest strengths is in creating well-drawn and unique characters. Jack and Lauren are no exceptions. They both leap off the page as real, interesting people, with their own quirks, baggage, and motivations. I loved Jack's voice; his thoughts combine rocker-dude cool with deep introspection in a way that was endlessly fascinating. Watching him unravel the mysteries of a strange guitar, his roadtrip companion Lauren, and his own life kept me on the edge of my seat, anxious to see how it would all play out.
I LOVED the road trip aspect of the book. It reminded me a little of THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCour, but Jack and Lauren's travels are all their own.
I'm excited to see where David takes these characters next, particularly Lauren. She's one of the most interesting, nuanced female characters I've read in a while, and I'd love to see more of her. She's fiesty yet vulnerable...just very intriguing. More Lauren please! :-)
STREETLIGHTS LIKE FIREWORKS is a quick, ambitious book that combines a variety of disparate elements - like ghosts and rock god guitars - to seamlessly create a unique and satisfying read. I highly recommend it!
PS How gorgeous is that cover?? Seriously, I suggest you grab the paperback - it's a beautifully made (and written, of course!) book!