Eighteen-year-old Cliff Sparks promises “one sweet-ass mother lode of a gripping tale” of his times at his New Jersey high school.
“I’m going to spin a tale,” Cliff tells readers. Though his is a character-driven tale, he doesn’t feel up to hooking readers with his charisma and charm. Yet without a plot to pull the story along, he is all readers have, and he proves to be a character readers will want to spend time with—a funny, smart, nice boy telling his story with spirit and panache, sometimes lying, sometimes even bursting out of his story to “raise your disbelief from the dead.” He is an ordinary teenage boy, though on the bookish and artistic side, with a single-minded infatuation with Jillian and her breasts, and “coming of age” in his take on the classic theme means losing his virginity—preferably with her, but he’s flexible about that. Not much really happens—there are few Cliff-hangers, so to speak—but readers will relish clever wordplay, fantasies, and a major secret. In a genre full of barely likable teenage protagonists, Cliff is a charmer, and readers will be cheering him on to finally come of age.
Cliff is a character driven to fulfill his quest, and readers will be with him every step of the way. (Fiction. 13-18)