December 15, 2010

REVIEW! Adios, Nirvana.

Adios, Nirvana
Conrad Wesselhoeft


When you piss off a bridge into a snowstorm, it feels like you’re connecting with eternal things. Paying homage to something or someone. But who? The Druids? Walt Whitman? No, I pay homage to one person only, my brother, my twin.
In life. In death.

 Since the death of his brother, Jonathan’s been losing his grip on reality. Last year’s Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School’s resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He's on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won’t sit back and let him fail.

My rating: 4 stars.


Cannot express how much I enjoyed this book. It’s a whirlwind of good characters, descriptions, and writing.

Jonathan is deep, insightful and creative, but not to an overwhelming degree. There are lighthearted, purely comical moments. The dialogue is a bit iffy; there’s an excessive use of whoa! and ching! and other strange exclamations. And the romance… well, it doesn’t exist. What little there is isn’t worth having. It fits, but isn’t one hundred percent convincing.

The friends aren’t characterized – essentially they’re just names stuck to one adjective. For example, Nick. He is nice. Ta da. They’re not by any means useless. They just don’t add or take away from the story. Pretty free-floating. Wish they’d been included more, especially Nick.

Not so sure the parents served any real purpose. Felt like there was more building with them, but the end cut off the rest of their story, which was a shame because they’re characterized well. You get a good sense of who they are, but you never get the why.

The writing itself is beautiful. Poetical. Even though it’s not written as poetry. Jonathan’s voice is very distinct and boyish, yet thoughtful. Sure, he eases his pain with writing and reading and music, which are all typical cures, but it’s the way he does so that makes the story unique.

And Telly – he’s not there, but his character is something special. It’s a great touch. The brother connection stands out most throughout the entire story, and it doesn’t sound repetitive or cliché. It’s pure.

Adios, Nirvana doesn’t go above and beyond, but it’s solid.

1 comment:

  1. Dropping by from the Hop! I already follow. Thank for the review--I feel better informed about this one, now, and I won't go into it expecting romance. :-) I like your review style. It's very poetic!


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