By: David Arnold
Published Year: 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.
This is a story about:
1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.
I was so excited when I found out David Arnold was coming out with his second novel. I absolutely loved Mosquitoland and was beyond excited that he had written another novel. Then I saw the cover and it was love at first sight. Between loving Arnold’s debut novel and seeing the cover it was automatically added to my to-read list.
What I thought
Have you ever read a book and immediately thought “This needs to become a classic”? That’s the feeling I was left with after this book. It is everything.
Vic is 17 and has run away from home. He finds himself taken in by a band of kids made up of Baz, Zuz, Mad, and Coco. They take him in and not only help him with his mission, but help him find himself.
This is going to be a hard review for me to write. I want to rave about it and tell you everything but at the same time I don’t want to tell you anything so that you can experience it all yourself! I didn’t know anything about this book other than it was a bit of a coming of age story about a group of teenagers and I think that not knowing much about it made it even better.
The story is told through multiple perspectives, but mostly through Vic and Mad. It alternates between them but switched multiple times between a chapter. I enjoyed the switch between perspectives but sometimes it took me a while to realize that the perspective had switched. I think that’s because Vic and Mad are similar, even though they are completely different. Oh goodness, I think the book has made more of an impact on my thoughts than I thought it did. A similarity that is also different is something that Vic would talk about.
Arnold’s writing in this book, again, is magical. It seems to say everything that I have ever thought and felt and not know how to put into words or maybe didn’t even know I thought it. While it could have gone a little far and become pretentious it works so well.
By: David Arnold