Being a teenager—at least in this book—is a lot like having multiple personality disorder.
In the first chapter of the novel, Dorothy and Jake are typing the number 3407 into a calculator—it sort of spells “LOVE” upside down. By Chapter 20, Jake is TPing her house, and she’s stalking him with a pair of binoculars. Every major character goes through a personality change. Danny is selling drugs for the Raiders in one chapter and fighting the gang members in another. After a while, MPD starts to feel like a metaphor for the entire book. Steinkellner is capable of writing nearly flawless sentences (“Darrell snickered like a female weasel” is both funny and apt), but there are whole chapters of shockingly bad writing. Often, they’re bad on purpose. There are lengthy excerpts from songs and stories written by the students: “ ‘Never you mind that, my Handsome,’ Princess Dorothy said as she held Jacobim’s head against her ample bosom….” Unfortunately, they are not so bad they’re good. They’re just bad. The real problem is that reading the book feels exactly like being in junior high, complete with awful poetry.
Anyone who loved predecessor Trash Can Days (2013) will keep reading to find out what happens next, but other readers may find themselves looking for a story without quite so many mood swings. (Fiction. 12-18)