Darren does his best to process his father's coming out by chasing the girl of his dreams.
Things in Darren's life have changed a lot over the last few months. His older brother has gone off to college, his parents are recently divorced, and now his father has chosen to officially come out of the closet. In a desperate attempt to get away from it all, Darren catches a bus to his brother's school, with the mysterious and beautiful Zoey along for the ride. After an unforgettable night, Zoey disappears, and Darren continues to try and pick up the pieces. Telling Darren’s story entirely in a series of lists, the author hides his paint-by-numbers narrative behind an eye-catching gimmick. The first few dozen lists are cute, but even the most indulgent readers will roll their eyes at the novel’s 640-page bulk, over twice the size of The Catcher in the Rye. Making matters worse are the paper-thin characters. Zoey is a typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl; Darren is a whiny limp noodle who somehow attracts not just Zoey, but other girls as well, making the story feel more like wish-fulfillment at times than anything else.
Too self-conscious for its own good. (Fiction. 12-16)