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PARTY by Tom Leveen


by Tom LeveenMichael Schiefelbein

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 27th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-86436-0
Publisher: Random House

The lives of 11 high-school teens—the burnout, the weirdo, the bitch, the good girl, the goofball, the jock, the straight edge, etc.—intersect, intertwine and break apart as they prepare for the biggest party of the year, thrown by an unknown host on the Santa Monica coastline. As the party hour nears, the plot hints that something terrible (!!!) will befall the guests once they arrive. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the partygoers. With such a strong buildup, this concept feels like it could be Leveen’s shortcut straight to the top of the Quick Picks list, especially since many of his characters are so stereotypical that they scream Teen Slasher Novel. However, as the plot slogs onward, the characterizations grow either flatter or more confusing, depending on who’s telling the story. Also, despite one true moment of unexpected terror, the intensity of the plot mostly gives way to schlocky sentimentality that will leave readers groaning. Tepid afterschool-special fare. (Fiction. YA)