This is a thoroughly likable book. Clever concept and great, if somewhat unreliable characters. Tommy Wallach’s first book We All Looked Up was one of my hits of last year and this one is a more mature book in some ways I think. We have Parker Sante (great name), who doesn’t speak. He hasn’t spoken since his Dad died five years ago, he communicates via a journal. He is funny and quirky and streetsmart. He meets the silver haired but only 17 year old Zelda while he is wagging school and sitting in the foyer of a hotel, planning to steal stuff from the rich guests. Cool concept. Zelda has a huge wad of cash which Parker steals. Thus begins their relationship. They are both unreliable characters and that is what makes this so quirky. You never quite know who is lying to whom, particularly Zelda who has quite a back story.
This was a great break from dystopia. It has a bit of swearing and the love scenes are written really well, nothing that any kid hasn’t seen on a video I’m sure. Much less drug taking and risky teenage behaviour in this one, but certainly enough to drive the action along and to engage your average 14 year old. There are a couple of weirdnesses in the story, but for me that was part of the charm. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the fun.