Streetlights Like Fireworks by David Pandolfe
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Publication Date: March 19, 2014
Jack has been getting on his parents’ nerves for some time. Bad enough he’s a rock musician, has crappy grades and hangs out with his “loser” friends. But Jack’s ability to predict the future — well, that just annoys the hell out of them.
Jack’s classmate, Lauren, is said to have unique abilities too. The town still talks about when she kept badgering her mother about the money in their wall. For the longest time, Lauren’s mother didn’t listen. Finally, she did and she hasn’t had to work since.
Jack would really like to connect with Lauren but can’t figure out how. She’s never looked at him twice. But when he experiences a mystifying event involving visions, voices and spectral visits, Jack figures there’s only one person to help him understand who’s calling out to him and why. Before long, Jack and Lauren are off on a road trip of discovery that could provide answers to a mystery left unsolved for twenty years. More importantly, they might even unravel the greatest mystery of all — how every so often someone will accept you for who you are.
Review: When I began reading this book, I had actually forgotten most of the synopsis of the book since it had been some time since I had read and signed up to review the book for the blog tour. Sometimes I will go back and read a synopsis before I start a book if I can't really remember, but I did not do that this time. I had finished a previous book and was ready to move on to this one. Deciding I didn't want to waste any of the free reading time I had, I decided to just start reading instead of stopping to look up the synopsis again. With some books, like with this one, it's kind of fun not remembering exactly what the book is about. It was exciting to just read and get to know the characters, and then figure things out as I read.
The first thing I must say is just how much I loved the two main characters, Jack and Lauren, and their relationship with one another. The joking, sarcasm, and mutual understanding about one another and what they are going through. Jack knows that he has disappointed his parents, though he does not believe that he has done anything too bad, and Lauren's mom does not seem to care at all now that her dad has left, taking Lauren's brother with him. Then, there is the fact that they both have special psychic abilities. They can sense things, do things based on intuition, and can sometimes see flashes of things that impact them.
The majority of the book takes place as the two characters travel across the country in order to find out why Jack is having visions and flashbacks from an old guitar he picked up (and eventually traded for) at the local music shop. For some reason it has targeted him, and they follow their feelings and any information they can find in order to get the guitar back to its original owner, who happens to be a former singer from an indie band that eventually fell apart because said singer decided to leave and go into hiding.
The whole road trip is quite exciting, and it was very fun to get to experience everything with the characters. They met online friends, dug deep to get clues, worried over money, and every other realistic thing that would happen when two teens decide to take a sudden road trip in an old VW van. I was not expecting the ending at all, which made the story even better for me. I didn't even THINK I had this one figured out, in fact. The ending was perfect, though, better than I had been expecting. Certainly emotional, and I found myself crying as our main characters dealt with some tough new information. It certainly is a much read for everyone, and I loved it so much that it earned 5 stars from me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
While he’s still writing about himself in third-person, David should probably also mention that he lives outside Richmond, VA, with his wife, two kids and a dog who’s terrified of thunder (not the best situation since it thunders from spring until fall in Richmond).
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