School Library Journal
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Gr 10 Up-Peter Cameron has crafted a sharp, biting tale (Farrar, 2007) that deservedly has been compared to J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. The translation to audiobook format is just short of brilliant. Eighteen-year-old James Sveck lives with his upper-crust family in New York City and is ambivalent about many things: his Ivy League future at Brown, his sexual orientation, his dislike of kids his own age. The people in James' life include an artsy mother who came home from her honeymoon alone, a pretentious sister, his smart and funny grandmother, and his co-worker at his mother's art gallery. James meanders through the summer sharing his observations of the world around him. Alarmed at his insistence that he has no use for college, his parents force him into therapy. When James turns inward to examine his ambivalence, the story takes a serious turn. The divorce of his parents left scars and his high school was close to ground zero on September 11th. Narrator Lincoln Hoppe perfectly captures James' wit, sarcasm, pain. The ending is rather abrupt and we never fully understand James' motivations, but this won't be problematic for listeners. With strong language and mature themes, this is a story for older teens.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.