I have finally read this book! I think I might have got tired of it sitting on my TBR shelf month after month. I enjoyed it, but the story needed a lot more action.
Author: Aaron Starmer
Date published: August 23rd 2016
Page Count: 354
My Rating: 1/2
A novel about growing up … and blowing up.
Mara Carlyle’s senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until- wa-bam!-fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc.
Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last senior to blow up without warning or explanation.With the whole country watching, the FBI soon rolls into Mara’s suburban New Jersey hometown and the search is on for answers.
Whip-smart and blunt, Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it while trying to make it to graduation in one piece. It’s an explosive year punctuated by romance, quarantine, lifelong friendship, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bloggers, ice-cream trucks, “Snooze ButtonTM” and the filthiest language you’ve ever heard from
the president of the United States.
Aaron Starmer defies every rule in Spontaneous, but beneath the outrageous is a ridiculously funny, super honest, and truly moving exemplar of the absurd and raw truths of being a teenager in the twenty-first century-and the heartache of saying good-bye.
Overall, Spontaneous was a really fun book to read. The story revolves around Mara, and how her life changes when her fellow classmates start to spontaneous explode at random times at random times and in random places-yes, you heard that right. Her classmates explode, one by one, and no one knows why. Mara has to deal with all of the fall out- school being closed for their senior year, the new relationship with the strange and mysterious Dylan, the FBI investigation into what exactly is happening, the media coverage surrounding these events, and her own personal issues that escalated into drug and alcohol use. While it was a fun book, it did lack a lot in terms of plot and after finishing the final page, I was not too sure what had happened and the fate of each of the major characters.
Things I Liked
- Spontaneous Combustion– I have to respect any author who decides to write a book about spontaneous combustion, and a YA book about growing up and relationship as well. It is soo bizarre, and pretty gory, but made for some really interesting scenes and vivid descriptions.
- Narration-I loved the narration of the book and the language used. The story is narrated by the main character Mara, and she is very laid back and casual throughout. She talks directly to the reader at times, often descends into rambling and following her sometimes distracted train of thought, and chimes in to give background when we need it.
- The romance- I am not normally a huge romance fan, but I really liked how the relationship between Mara and Dylan developed. It felt organic and you could see how it started on their first date to the football game to when they are steady in their relationship, and what happens to it at the end of the book (so heartbreaking and very well written.)
Things I Did Not Like
- None of the major questions were answered-While I understand there needs to be some ambiguity at the end of the book, too many questions were not answered. We are built up to expect an explanation or more exploration into the spontaneous combustion of students that is occurring, but nothing is revealed. I really wanted at least an inkling of an explanation.
- The story was very flat- Apart from the odd student exploding, there really was not anything major to the story. It just drifted from the start of the school year until the end, with little milestones scattered in between. The romance between Mara and Dylan, and the escalation of Mara’s drug and alcohol problem are the only points of conflict or interest in the book and I needed something more to happen.
While it was an interesting read, with all of the exploding senior’s, Spontaneous was just an OK book. I needed more detail to the story and more major plot points to be explored for me to like it more then I did.
I hoped you liked my review of Spontaneous. As always, let me know your thoughts on the book if you have read it, and give me any recommendations you have.