Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review: "Streetlights Like Fireworks" by David Pandolve

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Title: Streetlights Like Fireworks
Author: David Pandolfe
Genre: YA
Pages: 268
Publication Date: March 19, 2014

Received from: Publisher

Synopsis:  Psychic flashes, haunting visions, missing persons and visits from ghosts. That's just their first date.

Jack has been getting on his parents' nerves for some time. Bad enough he's a rock musician, has crappy grades and hangs out with his "loser" friends. But Jack's ability to predict the future-well, that just annoys the hell out of them.

Jack's classmate, Lauren, is said to have unique abilities too. The town still talks about when she kept badgering her mother about the money in their wall. For the longest time, Lauren's mother didn't listen. Finally, she did and Lauren's mother hasn't had to work since.

Jack would really like to connect with Lauren but can't figure out how. She's never looked at him twice. But when he experiences a mystifying event involving visions, voices and spectral visits, Jack figures there's only one person to help him understand who's calling out to him and why. Before long, Jack and Lauren are off on a road trip of discovery that could provide answers to a mystery left unsolved for twenty years. More importantly, they might even unravel the greatest mystery of all- how every so often someone will accept you for who you are.






I had a odd sense of unease when I agreed to read this book. Not because I thought it would be bad, but because the "Young Rock Musician on a Road Trip" theme isn't one that I normally gel with. However, I got pulled in by the possibility and promises of psychic/paranormal  phenomenon and decided to give it a whirl.

Well, dang.

I'm learning more and more everyday that trying new things is GOOD FOR YOU. "Streetlights Like Fireworks" included multiple themes that resonate and I appreciated the writer's talent for crafting a story with the ability to SPEAK to its readers regardless of their age or personal experiences. I believe that many readers will be able to see a piece of themselves in Jack, or Lauren, two individuals who are coming face to face with the scary yet exhilarating fact that they're different. Yet, it's not the realization that they are unique that's so brilliant but that it is absolutely, beyond a doubt, in all ways okay.

Jack is a psychic to put it plainly, which explains a lot. The problem is that puts him in a rather lonely and confusing situation regarding being able to talk to and relate with others. Enter Lauren. This secondary character, who does sometimes outshined Jack, has her own special abilities along with her own struggles with identity.

An intense psychic vision connected to a guitar sends the two hurtling on an road-trip adventure that takes them across country where they run into a slew of interesting people and circumstances and learn little by little how important it is to embrace who you are

In a time filled with struggle for the right to be exactly who you are this book whispers through the commotion, "Hey, who you are is okay. I promise."

Much recommended.


    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Displaying DavidPandolfe.jpgDavid Pandolfe is the author of two novels, Jump When Ready and Streetlights Like Fireworks. Currently, he’s working on a sequel to Jump When Ready, to be published in 2014. His short fiction has also appeared in literary reviews.

While he’s still writing about himself in third-person, David should probably also mention that he lives outside Richmond, VA, with his wife, two kids and a dog who’s terrified of thunder (not the best situation since it thunders from spring until fall in Richmond).

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