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.
Miss Riki’s Review:
I absolutely love a novel that brings me through an entire range of emotions from start to finish, and this novel does that tenfold. What starts off simply as a few high school kids headed off to the biggest party of the year quickly turns emotional and intense.
Written from the point of view of eleven different characters, their narratives unfold and overlap to tell the story of one really dramatic evening that nobody saw coming. Each chapter told from a different character’s point of view is so distinct and original. I’m in awe of how masterfully Tom Leveen nails the teen voice, not once, not twice, but eleven times in the same book! You may not like all of the characters in this book, but there’s no doubting that they are artfully created, flaws and all.
Leveen tackles some tough issues in the novel, but does so with tact and care, and is never preachy. Just when you think you have the story figured out and the bad guy pegged, he turns the narrative in another direction and makes you question what you thought you knew to be true. It’s incredibly deft storytelling that is emotional and tense, yet also lighthearted and laugh out loud funny at times. I went from tears of sadness to squeeing for joy in a matter of pages. Party really does take you through an entire range of emotions and makes you think about how you fit into the world around you.
I highly recommend this book for teens and adults alike. The dialogue is mesmerizing and the story is well told. Party is a book that will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page.