Party is Tom Leeven's first novel. Its a young adult novel about that last party of the school year to get the summer going.
What makes this story so intriguing is the series of stories that connect, in first person. It reminded me a little bit of the movie GO. Where the movie starts from one character's perspective...then something happens to that character, and the movie starts over from another character's perspective about that night.
The story starts with Beckett, who really tugs at your heart about her family situation, and how she feels invisible. This character made me want to read more of the book. She hasn't done anything at school for the last couple of years and now has decided to go to the BIG PARTY ON SHORE LINE DRIVE. Then there is Morrigan who has problems of her own with her folks, who hardly know she's there. She's also decided she wants to have sex at this party because her ex-boyfriend Josh just wouldn't. He's short, straight edged and always the designated driver. I kept thinking of Ricky Ullman in that part. But he's at the point of telling his friends he'd like to kill Morrigan.
|“I was trying to do the right thing, do what you said, and this is what I get? Well you know what? Piss. Off.”-Josh|
Of course, Morrigan his hoping to get lucky with Josh's bestie, Ryan who just so happens to be a man-whore. And as moving as Beckett's character is emotionally...Well, there is Ryan to balance it out. I have to admit, I have never read quite as funny a bedroom scene as I have.... with the predicament that Ryan gets into. He just might have second thoughts about who he wants to be with, after this party.
There is Max who has wasted most of high school pining for Beckett and he's hoping to make his move if he doesn't chicken out. Also some serious issues go down, as well, in the novel between Anthony and Azize. Was it hate crime? Or just all bad timing because of what happened to Anthony's brother and Anthony consuming alcohol....
Really, its a story of friendships between girls and guys. And its great to read how the characters react with each other and their problems. Its not a total teen angst scenario. But there is angst. Thankfully, the book ends with Ashley, who has had to put up with her best friend Morrigan's shannagans all night at the party. She is a true friend and one you'd definitely want to be your best friend because, she shows how to look out for a friend.
Possibly, this is what an American Skins should be. I enjoyed many of the voices I read through the novel. My favorite would have to be Azize, the Turkish pizza delivery boy.
Its a fun summer read. Here is more about the characters and quotes from PARTY.
Check out Tom Leeven.com