Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Review: Party by Tom Leveen

SUMMARY (From amazon):

It's saturday night in Santa Barbara and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the same party. Or at least it seems that way. The place is packed. The beer is flowing. Simple, right? But for 11 different people the motives are way more complicated. As each character takes a turn and tells his or her story, the eleven individuals intersect, and reconnect, collide, and combine in ways that none of them ever saw coming.


Comical but memorable, there were plenty of ways this book could fail. Focusing on 11 characters, each one with their own designated chapter in which the reader can see into their mind before passing the spotlight on to someone else, as well as the entire basis being a huge end of the year kegger party, it's easy to see what could go wrong. But this book doesn't go wrong and uses these elements to make it stand out. The order in which Leveen let the character's tell the story worked perfectly and each chapter transitioned smoothly between settings and people before everyone came together at the party. About half way through the novel is where the narrator no longer matters- the reader is still getting a fantastic, engaging, humorous story.

Not one character was given particularly more attention than another- every one of them had a purpose, a spotlight, and an effect. Some characters that wouldn't normally be involved with others suddenly are being forced together and I felt every one of these interactions to be very realistic and brought out the different personalities of all 11 characters. The full spectrum of characters showed up in this book, from the football star to the playboy to the religious kid, even a Turk who wanted nothing more than to make his family proud while still enjoying high school.

Bonds are formed and broken, secrets revealed and others developed as the night progresses and overall, there was little backtracking and retelling of events. Only when POV's would switch would some things be told again but it was always briefly when the different characters were being brought together and in the new person's mindset. Leveen does a brilliant job weaving everything together, keeping the reader engaged the entire time.

Ryan was probably the most comical character for me- his chapter had me laughing almost nonstop. A seemingly typical character, being the playboy, Leveen still gave even this boy some depth and redeeming qualities. Josh is the boy would doesn't sleep with a girl because of his belief in God and his chapter, as well, was humorous despite the events. His inner thoughts provided constant relief and this same lightheartedness even in rough situations persisted throughout the book. Ashley and Morrigan were almost polar opposites but still best friends and I really enjoyed how teenage their actions actually were.

Leveen's writing is fantastic, varying between each POV to stick with each character's true self as well as a teenage state of mind no matter what the personality was. This would be something hard to do, particularly with only one chapter to really get into the frame of mind but Leveen breezes through it. An enjoyable read, I recommend this one for the broad range of characters, writing ability, and the deeper, underlying things happening in a partying situation.

Source: ARC received from the author for review
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (April 27, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375864369
ISBN-13: 978-0375864360

Author's Website


  1. Awesome! I signed up for this one on a tour. It sounded just like my type of read and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  2. You nailed the review. Right on the money babe! I gotta write mine soon ;]

  3. Great review! I'll have to read this :)

    You have an award on my blog :)

  4. That was a really good review. I had fun reading it, and now I'm interested in this book. Thanks!

  5. This sounds like such a great book. Eleven characters is a lot and I'm really interested to see how that's executed.

  6. great review! 11 characters scares me lol, my memory sucks! lol, i definitely want 2 read this one though!

  7. I love the premise of this book. Great review!