Little Known YA Wonders: Paranoid Park

Reading Song of the Day: “Runaway” Kanye West featuring Pusha T (The Clipse)
Pam did a recent post about not believing hype surrounding YA books and that got us thinking about lesser known/praised YA books. So, we wanted to do our part and highlight some of the fabulous young adult books that we don’t often hear about.
This week I am going to introduce you to Blake Nelson and his extraordinary novel, Paranoid Park.

You may remember that I chose this as my fave book of the month one time for YA Highway’s Road Trip Wednesday. I gave a quick synopsis of the book during the above mentioned post but I didn’t get to love on it as much as I wanted to. Now that I have your attention my love fest will begin!

Paranoid Park starts off from a young male’s POV. The male (who is an avid skateboarder) writes in a journal/diary format with the date placed before each section (in the end we find out there’s a reason for this format). He lets the reader know that something awful has happened right away and then proceeds to recount the event and the days after. I wish I could give you spoilers– but you need to read this yourself. Basically, a tragedy occurs and the young male struggles with whether to tell what has happened or keep it all inside. And of course this tragedy is just a notch on his belt of teenaged troubles. He has his fellow skateboard loving friends to answer to as well as a girlfriend who feels that he isn’t being “boyfriend-y” enough. And to top it all off the girl who he grew up with is starting to become more interesting.

Blake Nelson’s (he has a goodreads account people!) writing is so engaging and authentic. The reader really gets inside of the head of the main character. I loved it so much that I quickly purchased two more of his novels Rock Star Superstar and The New Rules of High School, and I plan to get more- including an ARC for his newest novel- Recovery Road written in a girl’s POV.

Visit these sites to get more info on Blake Nelson and Paranoid Park (as well as his other books):

http://blakenelsonteennovelist.blogspot.com/
http://www.blakenelsonbooks.com/

BTW…Paranoid Park was also made into a movie directed by Gus Van Sant- I’ve yet to see it. Off to add it to my Netflix Queue. What do you think about our new series? Do you have any YA Wonders of your own??

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