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Monday, November 8, 2010

Book Review: The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff

Age: 12+
Publication Date: September 2010
Pages: 296
Series: no
Acquisition: ARC from NetGalley

The absolute value of any number, positive or negative, is its distance from zero: |-1| = 1
Noah, Lily, and Simon have been a trio forever. But as they enter high school, their relationships shift and their world starts to fall apart. Privately, each is dealing with a family crisis—divorce, abuse, and a parent's illness. Yet as they try to escape the pain and reach out for the connections they once counted on, they slip—like soap in a shower. Noah’s got it bad for Lily, but he knows too well Lily sees only Simon. Simon is indifferent, suddenly inscrutable to his friends. All stand alone in their heartache and grief.
In his luminous YA novel, Steve Brezenoff explores the changing value of relationships as the characters realize that the distances between them are far greater than they knew. (from Goodreads)

Quick thoughts:
Absolutely amazing. No happily ever after, no everything fitting into place by the end. Was this a problem? Defiantly not!

It's about teenagers growing up on Long Island. I was a teenager growing up on Long Island and I might not have had some of the problems that Noah, Lily and Simon have, but I sure as hell knew people who did.

In each section we get a different characters point of view. I loved this! We see the same scenes played out through each characters eyes. Let me tell you, it felt so real! It's like 3 people telling the same story and everything they tell you is true - it's how they see it, but each story is very different.

Lilly remembers every word Simon has ever said to her, yet Simon barely notices when she's in the room. Noah acts like nothing phases him, yet every move he makes is calculated. And Simon? I pretty much loved to hate him. In my mind, he was the good guy but....after seeing what was really going through his mind? Not so much.

I knew people like Lilly, Simon and Noah growing up. I could almost see myself in their situations and loved it.

Hard to say since I pretty much loved every word on every page. Forced to pick something, I would have to say that my one dislike would be the character of Suzanne. She's Simon's sister and she plays a integral part in the story but we only get her for a chapter at the beginning and another one at the very end. There was way more to her story then what we were given and I would have liked to have seen more of her. But, have to say, her vague presence, really worked with the overall story.

Final thoughts:
One of my top reads of 2010. Steve's storytelling was excellent and I'm excited to read more from him in the future.

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

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