Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft

Everything in Jonathan's life has been messed up since his brother Telly died. He can't sleep. He barely eats. He's been skipping school, blowing off assignments, and slipping into a dark hole. He's been given one last chance; he could pass his junior year if he does two things: write the story of a dying World War II veteran, and perform the principal's favourite song at graduation. Jonathan doesn't feel like doing either of these things, but the people around him - the people who care about him - aren't about to give up on him.

Jonathan is in pain. Everything about him just screams that he is suffering. He tries to numb the pain through various over-the-counter products. His friends, the Thicks, see it, but aren't sure how to reach him (especially when Jonathan, in his grief and anger, doesn't want to be reached), and his mom is hurting in her own way. I was kind of worried when I started reading it because I didn't know a lot (really anything) about Eddie Vedder, but the novel filled me in on what I needed to know. I liked the way that information was parceled out over the course of the book, and that it came out in ways that made sense to the story. One thing that I really liked was (spoiler? maybe a spoiler warning) that romance and a romantic relationship was not central to this story. There was no magical love interest who came in and fixed everything and that was refreshing. (I would love to read more non-romance-based books that have a female protagonist as well.)

Adios, Nirvana will be released in October 2010.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes
None Too Fragile: Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder by Martin Clarke
Metamorphosis: Junior Year by Betsy Franco

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