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... read more
Tom Leveen writes ‘Party’ in 11 chapters, one for each point of view presented. While we start with Beckett in Chapter 1, each additional chapter adds more information and additional perspectives, thus, building up the suspense and details that we can only get from the additional players in... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Tom Leveen writes ‘Party’ in 11 chapters, one for each point of view presented. While we start with Beckett in Chapter 1, each additional chapter adds more information and additional perspectives, thus, building up the suspense and details that we can only get from the additional players in the story. The headings of the chapters are cool, as well, because all names are printed out, and the chapter’s lead character is highlighted.
Without being preachy, Leveen shows the world of YA that everyone has got something going on, for better or worse. Beckett is hiding a terrible secret and is making a plan of her own for her senior year of high school. Morrigan wants someone to show her that they love her, within her family and outside of her family. Tommy tries to be a good friend, even while checking out the evil ex-girlfriend’s friend (What harm could it do?) Brent is fed up with his love-sick friend and just wants to tear it up now that he’s finished senior year. Daniel checks out the blow-by-blow action, rooting for the demise of his friend’s ex-girlfriend, while checking out the potentials at the party. But this is where the suspense is turned up…WAY UP! Daniel forgets that he ordered a pizza…until the cops show up at the party.
I KNOW! Right?? Readers are started to get into the groove of this story and the individual mini-dramas of each, and then you get a bomb like that dropped at the end of the chapter…and it’s like, “What the hay is going on here, people?” Here’s my advice…plan for this A-bomb at the end of the chapter with Daniel. Don’t make any plans. Don’t think of starting this and then putting it down because from here on in, it’s an investment. You’re going to want to know what happens next. It gets better, scarier, more intense than you ever expected.
Our characters continue with Azize, the pizza delivery guy, who tries so hard to be good, even when the timing is not in his favor. Ryan is fiercely loyal, even when the situation looks as bad as it could get. Then there’s Anthony. Ah, yes, “Antho.” That boy just cannot get his mind off of his brother. He’s at a party and he’s watching the news, which gets some quizzical looks, but no one really messes with the guy, considering his size and position. Until someone does…mess with him that is. Someone who stands up to defend his honor, his family’s honor, and the honor of everyone else who has ever been profiled, racially or otherwise.
And this is where the A-bomb explodes. Everyone was having fun, until this thing that came from a place of fear mixed with Jack Daniels. It’s unstoppable, and readers begin to wonder if it can be fixed at all. The phrase that is haunting, “Make it right,” will stay with readers long after the book is finished.
Our closing chapters of Josh, Max, and then Ashley remind readers to go slow with your anger, take a chance on love, and to connect with real people. Isn’t that what life is all about?
Leveen has written a book not easily forgotten. It is mesmerizing in its dialogue and with its details.
“"Color me laid."”Ryan Brunner
“Josh sprints over to me and lands one solid right in the sweet spot under my left eye, which sends me to the carpet, cock a-flyin'”Ryan Brunner
“I'm sorry Ata. I'm sorry”Azize
“I see a light appear. Beautiful light. It outlines the football player from behind, giving his body a dim halo. It is perhaps a superhero, using a superpower to destroy him.”Azize
“It is light, light like on the boat I will buy when....”Azize
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