Confession: NftMD is the first Sonnenblick book I've read. I have a huge pile of stuff to read at any given moment and the stuff I want to read sometimes gets pushed to the back. Plus, at my library "Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie" is ALWAYS checked out and I'm on hold, alright? The point is that I got to meet Jordan Sonnenblick and he was energetic and passionate and fantastic. And then I got to watch him speak to a big group of 6th graders and when he called two of them out for talking during his presentation you could almost see the middle school teacher he used to be rising up from the depths of the author he'd become. I'm glad I got the chance to meet him before I read any of his books actually. I was far less liable to trip over my own tongue trying to heap on my blundering brand of praise. I mean, I'm the awkward librarian and it only gets worse when I'm a fan. (You should have seen it when I met Caroline B. Cooney, oh man, talk about gauche.)
Anyway, here's my review of a book by a very nice guy:
Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
rating: 5 of 5 stars
We all do stupid things. Alex did one of the stupidest. He got angry, got drunk, and decided that this was the perfect time to steal the car and yell at his dad for making him angry.
Luckily for Alex, he didn't get far and the only casualty was the neighbor's expensive* garden gnome.
Alex gets punished, super punished, by being forced to do community service at a retirement home. He's now company for one particular old man for three hours every Wednesday night until he works off 100 hours. And then the fun starts. Let's be honest here folks, none of what I'm telling you about this plot is going to surprise you. It is the feel good tearjerker of my night. And I did cry, whooboy. I bawled through the last few pages there. There are some characteristic Sonnenblick elements, even characters you might recognize, and that is what makes the story great. It is a familiar story, well and humorously told, and in a unique voice. To my mind, that's better than what 95% of books I read even come close to providing.
*$374 seemed expensive to Alex and to me. I think maybe he killed the Travelocity gnome and now we must all roam alone.
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