Thursday, June 6, 2019

Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

This was the okayest book I've read in a while. Did I like it? Meh. Did I hate it? Meh. It was okay. I'm not sure if that's damning with the faintest of praise, in light of the rather abysmal rating it has on Goodreads, or just a straight-up slam since the blurb on the back announces that the author "rewrites the rulebook." Um, yeah, no, sorry. Starmer definitely does not do that.

SPONTANEOUS is definitely an unusual premise for a book. Narrated by an annoying quirky/quirkily annoying girl named Mara, and set in one of those small, East Coast towns, it is a book about teens literally blowing up, as in spontaneously combusting. Nobody knows what is happening, or why, but it soon creates a panic and a quarantine and a whole bunch of conspiracy theories.

I liked the beginning of this book a lot more than I liked the middle for several reasons, which could be numbered as such: 1) terrible and forced romance, 2) lack of closure, and 3) overly precious narrator who feels inauthentic and fake (basically what a bad narc would sound like if they were pretending to be a teen).

I wanted to like SPONTANEOUS because this was actually a mom rec (i.e. a book recommended to me by my mom), but I'm afraid I wasn't really vibing with this book. This is the second mom rec to fail me! Does this mean I can't trust my mom anymore? Maybe, maybe not. But I definitely can't trust this author or his blurb writer, because I was expecting something sensational and ended up with what was a pretty disorganized mess with a rather unsatisfying ending.

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

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