See Layers of Thought’s Preview of The House of Tomorrow for book stats, story outline, and purchasing information. The book previewed was an ARC copy; the real deal was published just last week on March 4th.
This is a very original and enjoyable debut novel from Peter Bognanni. Then again, I’d better think positive thoughts about it because, according to Sebastian’s Nana “each negative thought is like a hemorrhoid to the controlling forces of the universe. It burns them endlessly”. And I don’t want to go upsetting those forces.
The main characters, two sixteen year olds, are messed up in different ways and for different reasons, and both have family circumstances which are, to say the least, a little screwed up. Under the control of his wacky grandmother Sebastian has never led a normal life, while Jared is extremely sick and struggles to come to terms with the break-up of his parents. By chance the bemused and the bitter are drawn together and as the story progresses the unlikely twosome gradually form a strong bond, with the catalyst being a common love of punk music.
Neither can go on living the way that they have been, and they both have to try and figure out what is wrong, why, what needs to change, and how to start making some changes. That may all sound a little heavy, but it isn’t. The book is a light and easy read with plenty of humor. Bognanni does a fine job of getting inside the heads of the teenagers, and he paints a vivid picture of the trials and tribulations of growing up. He also creates some interesting family members, who you tend to like and loathe in equal measures.
This is a fine debut from Bognanni. I’d rate it 3.5 stars. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t like punk rock music – you’ll still enjoy the book.
All thoughts are welcomed and addressed by John.
Thanks for reading Layers of Thought.