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Spontaneous

Cover of Spontaneous

Spontaneous

Borrow Borrow
"Aaron Starmer skillfully welds sharp humor, deep loss, and roaring escapades. Truly the smartest and funniest book about spontaneous combustion you will ever read." —John Green, #1 bestselling author of The Fault In Our Stars
A TIME magazine Top 10 YA & Children's Book of 2016!
An ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection
With all the perfectly lovely young adult novels out there, you decided to check this one out? It's got spontaneously combusting teenagers in it, dude. Not the slow burning type either. We're talking the randomly exploding variety. Seniors in high school just walking along, heading to class, whistling Beyoncé, when—WA-BAM!— they're suddenly dripping off the lockers.

Is that really something you're into?

Confession: I'm actually kinda into that too. So, now that we've established we're both thoroughly weird and, I assume, thoroughly open-minded, we can give it shot, right? Let's at least read the opening chapters of this bad-boy and see if it features some of the more intriguing elements such as...

- Exploding teenagers (obviously).
- Hallucinogenic mushrooms.
- Pyromaniacal boyfriends.
- Triplet toddlers in powder blue suits.
- Amur leopards and doomsday preppers.
- A foul-mouthed female POTUS.
- Ashtanga yoga.
- ­Youtube sensations.
- Self-driving Priuses.
- Rogue FBI agents.
- Mad scientists.
- Homecoming.
- Spring break.
- Prom.
- And ... Jennifer Lawrence.

Notice how I put Jennifer Lawrence last. She's in the book, so it's not cheating. And hey, if it takes America's most beloved movie star to sell this thing, then that's what it takes.
So, in closing: Jennifer Lawrence.

"Wildly inventive." — Entertainment Weekly "Must List"
"This comically surreal novel that will blow your mind."— People Magazine
★ "A blood-soaked, laugh-filled, tear-drenched, endlessly compelling read." — Kirkus, starred review
★ "A wholly original YA tale of identity, friendship, love, lust, and gory, grisly death." — SLJ, starred review
"Bursting with heartache and gore, Mara's narration appeals directly to readers'
senses of horror and humor." — Horn Book
"Aaron Starmer skillfully welds sharp humor, deep loss, and roaring escapades. Truly the smartest and funniest book about spontaneous combustion you will ever read." —John Green, #1 bestselling author of The Fault In Our Stars
A TIME magazine Top 10 YA & Children's Book of 2016!
An ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection
With all the perfectly lovely young adult novels out there, you decided to check this one out? It's got spontaneously combusting teenagers in it, dude. Not the slow burning type either. We're talking the randomly exploding variety. Seniors in high school just walking along, heading to class, whistling Beyoncé, when—WA-BAM!— they're suddenly dripping off the lockers.

Is that really something you're into?

Confession: I'm actually kinda into that too. So, now that we've established we're both thoroughly weird and, I assume, thoroughly open-minded, we can give it shot, right? Let's at least read the opening chapters of this bad-boy and see if it features some of the more intriguing elements such as...

- Exploding teenagers (obviously).
- Hallucinogenic mushrooms.
- Pyromaniacal boyfriends.
- Triplet toddlers in powder blue suits.
- Amur leopards and doomsday preppers.
- A foul-mouthed female POTUS.
- Ashtanga yoga.
- ­Youtube sensations.
- Self-driving Priuses.
- Rogue FBI agents.
- Mad scientists.
- Homecoming.
- Spring break.
- Prom.
- And ... Jennifer Lawrence.

Notice how I put Jennifer Lawrence last. She's in the book, so it's not cheating. And hey, if it takes America's most beloved movie star to sell this thing, then that's what it takes.
So, in closing: Jennifer Lawrence.

"Wildly inventive." — Entertainment Weekly "Must List"
"This comically surreal novel that will blow your mind."— People Magazine
★ "A blood-soaked, laugh-filled, tear-drenched, endlessly compelling read." — Kirkus, starred review
★ "A wholly original YA tale of identity, friendship, love, lust, and gory, grisly death." — SLJ, starred review
"Bursting with heartache and gore, Mara's narration appeals directly to readers'
senses of horror and humor." — Horn Book
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About the Author-
  • Aaron Starmer is the author of numerous novels for young readers, including The Only Ones and The Riverman. He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter.
    You can find Aaron online at @AaronStarmer.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 6, 2016
    Seniors at Covington High School are spontaneously combusting in one gloriously gory explosion after another, and it doesn’t take long for the FBI to descend on the New Jersey town to figure out what is going on. Is it terrorism? A curse? At the heart of Starmer’s story is Mara Carlyle, a senior who witnesses the first combustion up close in precalc. Mara’s blunt, sarcastic narration is well-matched to the absurdity of the plot, and while it’s tempting to think of it as a defense mechanism in response to an unbelievable situation, it seems clear that this is just who Mara is. Her lengthy internal monologues, while entertaining, can frustrate the story’s momentum and make Mara seem more like an observer and chronicler of the mayhem, rather than a participant, despite her proximity to several of the explosions. This aside, Starmer (the Riverman trilogy) adeptly uses his bloody, madcap premise to heighten just how much of life is out of our control, and how important it is to seize whatever time we’re given. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 31, 2016
    Actress McKenna creates high drama in her reading of Starmer’s YA novel about a string of spontaneous combusting teenagers at a high school in New Jersey. Members of the Covington High School senior class keep exploding, and no one is sure why. Protagonist Mara Carlyle witnesses the first explosion in her precalc class. She and her friends want to figure out what’s going on, but that’s hard to do when FBI agents and other government agents become a part of everyday life and everyone else is deathly afraid of being contaminated. In the audio edition, McKenna’s deep and throaty voice draws in the listener hypnotically, while her emphasis and emotional expression captures the firsthand account of Mara as she witnesses many of her friends burst. Beyond the aural appeal of her voice, McKenna captures the tone, rhythm, and attitude of the different teenagers present throughout the story, giving each character vocal identities that only rarely skirt the edge of caricature. She’s at her best when the story goes deep into Mara’s thoughts to see the genuine (and not always kind) side of this protagonist. Ages 14–up. A Dutton hardcover.

  • AudioFile Magazine Best described as quirky, Alex McKenna's narration makes the unbelievable, believable. Listeners may feel like they're are sitting at the Food Court conversing with other teens. While the story twists in horrific ways, it's also humorous and realistic. Through tone and inflection, distinct personalities emerge--from the quiet, misunderstood male to the overachieving, ever-good-natured best friend. One can hear each eye roll, dismissive shake of the head, and flick of the wrist, and the wriggling bounces of excitement prevalent in high school storytelling. Teen listeners will most likely appreciate these somewhat heavy-handed but age-appropriate oral gestures. S.C.E. � AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Spontaneous
Spontaneous
Aaron Starmer
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