As winter deepens in snowbound Pollard, Illinois, 30-something Francis Falbo is holed up in his attic apartment, recovering from a series of traumas: his mother's death, his beloved wife's desertion, and his once-ascendant rock band's irreconcilable break-up. Francis hasn't shaved in months, hasn't so much as changed out of his bathrobe - "the uniform of a Life in Default" - for nine days.
"Author can write, but can't read."
It’s one single steamy July day at the West 4th Street Court in New York City, otherwise known as the Cage. Hotshot baller ESPN is wooing the scouts, Boo is struggling to guard the weird new guy named Waco, a Spike Lee wannabe has video rolling, and virgin Irene is sizing up six-foot-eight-and-a-half-inch-tall Chester. Nine of young-adult literature’s top writers reveal how it all goes down in this searing novel in short stories that each ingeniously pick up where the last one ends.
"Uneven but memorable"
Fourteen-year-old Jamie, aka “Punkzilla,” is on a mission: to see his older brother, Peter (“P”), before P dies of cancer. Hopping a bus while still buzzing from his last hit of meth, Jamie embarks on a days-long bus trip from Portland, Oregon, to Memphis, Tennessee, writing letters to his family and friends - letters so honest he may never send them.
Genius girl, Bounce, and her two drifter sidekicks, Wiggins and Orange, are holding the Frog hostage. As the stakes grow higher and the guilt and tension mount, Wiggins begins to question his complicity and must choose where his loyalties lie. Not for the faint of heart, Adam Rapp’s mesmerizing narrative told in alternating viewpoints ventures deep into disturbing territory. A powerful, unforgettable story.