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NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER by Jordan Sonnenblick

NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER

By Jordan Sonnenblick

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-439-75779-7
Publisher: Scholastic

Sonnenblick’s sophomore effort opens with Alex, a 16-year-old guitar-playing wise guy drunkenly crashing his mom’s car into a neighbor’s lawn gnome. Alex is immediately arrested for underage DUI, and is sentenced, by a Judge Judy no less, to do community-service time in a nursing home. There he must keep company with belligerent, emphysema-ridden, raspy senior citizen Sol Lewis, who takes nothing but pleasure in torturing his young caregiver. Not surprisingly, the two grow closer and closer as the days wear on. Alex gives Sol companionship; Sol gives Alex advice on guitar playing, getting girls and pretty much any other teen problem he might have—each of which wrap up way too neatly in the end. Sonnenblick injects this overused, stale plotline, some of which seems to be repeated from his debut, with an upbeat, punchy style that is both funny and contemporary. It all feels too heartwarming to be true, but his fresh, unique insight into the teen voice will keep the readers chuckling and the pages turning. (Fiction. YA)