Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tom Ryan Week: Way to Go

Tomorrow we're very excited to welcome author Tom Ryan to our blog for our first ever video interview! Today, take a look at the book that our high school TAB selected as one of their ten best of last year:

Way to Go by Tom Ryan

It's the start of summer 1994 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Danny is already in trouble with his mom. Normally he's a pretty low key, under the radar sort of kid, but he also has terrible luck. This is how he ends up working for Denise, his mother's friend who's opening a new restaurant in town.

Danny's got two good guy friends and they've been hanging out basically forever. They do the normal guy stuff, talk about music, sports and girls. If only Danny was as interested in the last category as he was in the other two... But he doesn't want to think about that. Not now, not really ever.

Instead he's going to throw himself into getting the restaurant ready to open and doing whatever else Denise and her chef, JP, need him to do. When cynical Lisa shows up with her bag full of mix tapes, Danny figures this might turn out to be a decent summer after all. All he has to do is fall in love with Lisa (and, you know, get her to do the same thing back to him). No problem.

Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds in your head. And Danny's summer is full of missteps and mistakes. With summer approaching here in Arlington and summer jobs only slightly behind them, this is a great book to get you in the right frame of mind. It'll also get you thinking about all the time you'll be spending hanging out with your friends and dissecting each others' lives instead of figuring out quadratic equations. The dialogue is funny and the friendships ring true.

One thing that gives it a bonus is that it's set in 1994. Sure that's only 18 years ago, but it's fun to see how much some things have changed and what things still have a long way to go. No one has a cell phone! There are tape decks in cars! On a more serious note, Danny's struggle with maybe being gay would be very different if he were 17 in 2012 instead of 1994. Since you were maybe a babyor maybe not even born in 1994, reading Danny's story might be an eye opening glimpse back in time.

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