"Yes or no?"
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.
"It's very rude not to answer simple questions," she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn't give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.
I can't, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don't you feel like a jerk? Parker Sante hasn't spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he'll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for. From the celebrated author of We All Looked Up comes a unique story of first and last loves.
- ISBN-13: 9781481418805
- ISBN-10: 1481418807
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: February 2016
- Page Count: 288
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-09
- Reviewer: Staff
In response to a college application question (What was the single most important experience of your life?), Parker Santé, a mute, Hispanic 17-year-old, writes an incredible story. When he steals a wad of cash from a silver-haired, sharp-witted girl named Zelda, who is planning to throw herself off the Golden Gate Bridge, Parker isnt sure what to make of her. After agreeing not to jump until her money is spent and Parker promises to apply to college, the two embark on a breakneck tour of parties, shopping, and confrontations with Parkers mother, an alcoholic consumed by memories of her deceased husband. Parker may not believe that Zelda is, as she claims, 246 years old, but theres no doubt that she helps him rediscover a longing to participate in the world. Wallach (We All Looked Up) delivers well-rounded, witty characters (Thinking of your parents being young is like thinking of Winnie-the-Pooh going to the bathroom: just fucking weird)all contemplating whether living a full life is better than living a long one. Bittersweet moments intersect with the intricate fairy tales Parker writes, compelling readers to judge what is real and what is make-believe. Ages 14up. Agent: John Cusick, Folio Literary Management. (Feb.)
Life in hotel lobbies
When his father died five years ago, Parker Santé lost his ability to speak. He’s not that interested in talking to anyone, anyway. Instead, he spends most days loitering in hotel lobbies, picking the occasional pocket and filling journals with stories—until one afternoon at the Palace Hotel, when he steals a wad of cash from a silver-haired girl who claims to be 246 years old. When mysterious Zelda catches him in the act and offers to strike a deal, Parker begins to see that there might be some things in life worth paying attention to.
Tommy Wallach offers a sweet coming-of-age novel about a young man learning to overcome loss. Presented as a comically long college application essay, Parker’s narrative is brash and appropriately childish, yet attentive and at times profound. Though the framing device is a bit far-fetched, and Zelda leans a bit too far toward Manic Pixie Dream Girl, there’s a lot to love about the poignant, lighthearted Thanks for the Trouble.