LAST DECEMBER by Matt Beam
Kirkus Star

LAST DECEMBER

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Even though he thinks the universe is crazy, aimless and chaotic, 15-year-old Steven is composing a letter to his yet-unborn sister Sam, so when she reads it, she’ll see, in chronological order, all of the connections and causes and effects in his life. A nerdy science geek who also plays hockey and begins to flirt with a cooler crowd, Steven meets druggie-rocker Byron McCarthy, who introduces him to “god with a small g,” who “started this stupid universe with a bang” but left no plan, just chaos. Byron, with the help of Ms. Pac-Man as metaphor for the randomness of the universe, leads Steven to ponder life, family, friends, sex and even Chaos Theory. The contrivance of the novel—as story, “letter or whatever”—works brilliantly, because Steven is an intelligent, likable character with an utterly fresh and original voice. As readers begin to realize the novel might be an extended suicide note, they will be captivated by Steven’s journey to find meaning in a universe where only god with a small g is behind it all. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-651-2
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2009




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