A Funny and Sweet YA Novel

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anilynn Avatar


Aaron used to love books, devouring them with great fervor, but those days are over despite working in his family's bookstore. These days the only book he can get through is one about the extinction of dinosaurs. Aaron relates deeply to the idea of inevitable impending doom given that his brother is dead, his mom left, and he has no friends. He and his falling apart dad are living and working in a crumbling bookstore with no business and piles of debt. He might as well be a dinosaur about to be smothered by an asteroid.

When an opportunity to sell the bookstore arises, Aaron takes it since it would allow him to find a way to unburden himself from both the bookstore and the debt. But sometimes, even the inevitable turns out to be not quite so inevitable. Aaron doesn't know what to make of Chad, an optimistic best-life-bro in a wheelchair shows or the group of out-of-work lumberjacks who take up the rickety old bookstore as a pet project. And he certainly didn't expect falling in love with Hannah, a musician who is determined to convince him that books and music are more similar than different. All of these people help Aaron understand what he has lost and found, to consider who he wants to be and what he wants to do. They show him that destruction and chaos doesn't inevitably mean extinction, but that it can be the start of something new and good.

This book was a very sweet YA novel that was both hysterical and thoughtful at the same time. I enjoyed the characters, all of which were quirky and unique in realistic ways. Despite all the humor, Gayle Forman wove in some important messages about the complexity of addiction and substance abuse and that it is not black and white blame. Additionally, I enjoyed the themes of inevitability and questioning over whether it is good or bad. Overall, it was a touching, emotional, and funny novel that was a pleasure to read. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a funny and light YA with meaningful themes.