Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a wonderful palate cleanser. I needed something less serious, something just for fun and this book absolutely fit that bill. After reading Their Eyes were Watching God, Cards of Grief, and Silence I really needed that break.
I thought that Spontaneous was a hoot. It is such an interesting premise and the author handles it just perfectly. It isn't morose or too serious, he discusses high school students blowing up in a mass of blood and guts with enough levity to keep the book moving and not depress the reader. Not too much levity though, it wasn't irreverent towards life and the importance of life, but really helped to highlight the theme that life is so so important and that we should continue to just live day by day because you never know...
When I started I thought that Spontaneous would be another teen drama. I've read a couple and haven't been impressed with these author's ability. They usually are just story with lots of emphasis on the romance and the main character's feelings. While this did have romance and "feels" Aaron Starmer has some writing chops. There were sections where I was genuinely impressed with this teen drama author and his abilities. He is no Faulkner or Fitzgerald, but the man knows his stuff. Nice metaphors and wonderful use of anaphora to name a few.
The book moved at a good clip. I certainly wasn't bored while reading it. But I was disappointed with the ending of this novel. Throughout the whole of the book both the characters and the reader are trying to figure out what is causing these high school Seniors to blow up. There are a lot of theories, and I didn't like the way the novel handled the ending with all the theories. I won't go into much more detail than that because I don't want to spoil the end, but this could easily have been rated a 9 if not for that one thing right at the end that soured my experience.
Still, I really enjoyed Spontaneous and would probably read a sequel if Starmer wrote one. A fun, brainless read. And sometimes you just need something fun and brainless.
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