REVIEW: Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
Mara’s senior year is proving to be a lot less exciting than she’d hoped, until the day – KABAM! – Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period. Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last senior to explode without warning or explanation. The body count grows and the search is on for a reason, while the students continue to pop like balloons. But if bombs or terrorists or a government conspiracy aren’t to blame, what is?
With the help of her oldest friend, her new boyfriend, a power ballad and a homemade disco ball, will Mara make it to graduation in one piece? It’s going to be one hell of a year, where the only test is how to stay alive and where falling in love might be the worst thing you can do . . .
Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (4 May 2017)
As if school, graduation and relationships aren’t hard enough to navigate, Mara also has to deal with the fact that the senior year is proving to be rather explosive. I love how we’re taken along for this ride and get to see how everyone handles (or doesn’t handle) the hand they’ve been dealt.
I can imagine that this won’t be everyones cup of tea though, not because of the subject matter and associated bloodiness, drinking or drugs, because these are all exactly how I would imagine a lot of people would react in this situation. No, my view is based on how the book ends. If you’re someone who likes your stories all wrapped up with a neat little bow that a definitive ending gives you, then you probably won’t appreciate how Mara’s story ends. I have to admit when I first read it I was a little put out by the lack of clarity in the ending, but then I realised that it is this very ambiguity that makes it such a perfect ending. Life isn’t clear cut, even when the future outcome seems unavoidable and this is reflected in the uncertainty of the ending. No matter which interpretation you go with or even if you go with the uncertainty, all are an equally fitting end.
An amusing, addictive read that also manages to cover the important issues of relationships, growing up and moving on.
N.B. A review copy was provided via Netgalley in return for my unbiased opinion.