Author: Tommy Wallach
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism
Source: S&S Australia
“I’ve got some questions for you. Was this story written about me?”Review by Nara
“Yes or no?”
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty. It brought a bloom to her pale cheeks and made sharp shelves of her cheekbones.
“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote I can’t on my palm.
Then, in tiny letters below it, I finished the thought: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?
Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.
Thanks for the Trouble was quite the pleasant surprise, although considering how much I enjoyed We All Looked Up, it shouldn't have been a surprise at all. From the interesting characters to the unconventional ending, there were few negatives to Tommy Wallach's latest novel.
Wallach really knows how to bring through the teenage voice. The narration was genuinely funny, with Parker's voice punching through within the first few lines. Also rather interesting is the fact that he suffered from mutism, a condition that I haven't seen before in the YA books that I've read.
The only really big negative that I could see with the book was that there was what most people would consider a major case of Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but I feel like the spin on the trope was somewhat unconventional, making it more interesting than the generic "cool girl makes the nerdy boy's life better". I have a feeling that most people who rated the book lower are people who don't like the MPDG trope, so perhaps stay away from the book if you have a huge problem with that particular trope. The plot basically follows the duo on a whirlwind weekend where Parker experiences a lot of things he hasn't before; all the while pursuing a romance with the mysterious Zelda.
Apart from that, I didn't feel that there were any things I didn't like about the book. Following on from his debut novel We All Looked Up, Tommy Wallach is certainly setting himself up as a consistently good writer of contemporary novels.
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