Author: Tom Leveen
Release Date: April 27, 2010 (hardcover)
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: ARC received from publisher through Bookurious
Overall: 4 Stars
It's saturday night in Santa Barbara and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the same party. Or at least it seems that way. The place is packed. The beer is flowing. Simple, right? But for 11 different people the motives are way more complicated. As each character takes a turn and tells his or her story, the eleven individuals intersect, and reconnect, collide, and combine in ways that none of them ever saw coming.
In Tom Leveen's debut novel, Party, the lives of eleven teenagers- Beckett, Morrigan, Tommy, Brent, Daniel, Azize, Ryan, Anthony, Josh, Max, Ashley- collide on a beautiful night in Santa Barbara. It's not the usual type of novel I often get a chance to read, with each 'chapter' broken down into the viewpoint of one teen and then moving onto the next one. It's an interesting concept and definitely proved to be most effective, drawing in my interest right from the get-go. I mean, eleven different perspectives... even having two different character perspectives can already be difficult to pull off! So, of course, this novel just had me curious to see how everything would work out.
It's all about viewpoint in this novel and how one character feels or sees another. They're different types of people, with their own personalities and histories, but on this night, all of them will be connected in ways they never expected. For them, this one party is so much more than an end of the school year bash. One doesn't want to feel so invisible, one wants to confront their ex, and another wants to finally talk to the girl he's been crushing on for years, to name a few.
I would have to say my two favourite character's viewpoints were Beckett and Max. Why? Well, I won't give any details away but I will say that Beckett is the one who feels invisible, and Max is the one with a crush on a girl which he's always kept to himself instead of revealing his feelings.
Since the setting takes place over such a short amount of time, there's only so much that can be fitted in... but I never felt bored in any way, or more importantly, confused. The author does a great job showcasing the interactions between the characters. It was fascinating to see how each of them related to one another, finding the connection that either brought them together, or vice versa, tore them apart.
In the end, it will be one night they'll never forget.
You can check out Tom Leveen's website here.