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Tom Leveen


Average Rating:out of 5 stars
Walmart # 9780375864360
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It's Saturday night in Santa Barbara and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the same party. Or at least it seems that way. The place is packed. The beer is flowing. Simple, right? But for 11 different people the motives are way more complicated.

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It's Saturday night in Santa Barbara and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the same party. Or at least it seems that way. The place is packed. The beer is flowing. Simple, right? But for 11 different people the motives are way more complicated.


Random House Children's Books
Book Format
Original Languages
Number of Pages
Tom Leveen
Publication Date
April, 2010
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.58 x 6.32 x 0.87 Inches

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.8)out of 5 stars
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Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Once again I was taken...

Once again I was taken by surprise into a book that shook me and left me wanting more. Leveen is a genius when it comes to character development. He managed to make ELEVEN different points of view, all in one night, one party... work. Don't ask me how he did that. You'll laugh. You'll be angry. You'll be insulted. You'll feel their pain. You'll even want to hang out with them, seriously. The writing was awesome in a fresh young/modern way. Hilarious and blunt at the same time. Every single thing and detail matches and works chronologically in a way that left me in awe. A truly excellent debut, if you are one to appreciate fun, meaningful books. Every situation and character felt so alive and real it was hard to pull my head out of the book. If you've ever been to a crazy out-of-control life-changing party, you sure know what I mean. Not a typical read, yet fully enjoyable, Party has sexual and alcohol content (Duh, it's a party). The book mashes eleven different stories together in a tale of friendship, life and sticking together. If you're looking for a fresh and bold contemporary read, go check this one out and enjoy the party.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Okay. For starters it...

Okay. For starters it's set in Santa Barbara, California. Santa Barbara. *moans with nostalgia* And Leveen gets subtle things just right about the place, such as the fog in June and the fact that sometimes it's better to take De La Vina instead of State Street. Eating is a big deal when you are a high school student, and Leveen makes frequent stops at a variety of food joints. I got hungry for wheat-germ strawberry pancakes (which I don't even like) and killer burritos (which I do) and wondered if my old fave pizza place still exists. So let's say you have zero personal connection to Santa Barbara. There's still a great chance you'll find this an immersive read. Eleven great chances, actually. Leveen recounts the twelve-or-so hours surrounding the party from eleven different points of view. All speak in first person and in present tense. While I've slogged through books where keeping things in present tense did not enhance the narrative, it absolutely works in PARTY. Much of the action takes place inside the characters' heads where the present tense reinforces the illusion that you are working through issues alongside the characters. Not to say the action stays in the characters' heads; there's an ugly fight, sex, a car accident, and a big, BIG party. So how does Leveen sustain eleven different POVs? He creates unique back-stories and identities for each character, but many writers do that. What I really enjoyed about Leveen's characterizations can be found in the rhythm of their speech. With a couple of exceptions (which I'll address below), each person in the story speaks from a distinct perspective using decidedly individualized language. Which brings me to: potentially objectionable content. Several characters swear. A lot. This creates a high level of realism in the dialog, but the book will not be appropriate for every teen both because of the language and the frank portrayal of teen sexual and drinking behavior. But to return to the dialogue. Where one teen uses every known curse-word with abandon, others refrain entirely, and one kid abbreviates his offensive language by using only the first letter of the word he has in mind. Some speak in grammatically correct sentences; others elide letters and syllables. The dialog (and in some cases, dialect,) is so accurate you'll swear Leveen followed these people around with a recording device. I kept thinking of Hamlet speaking to the players: "Now this overdone . . . though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve." No over-doings here. The dialog is brilliant. So what are these eleven talking and thinking about? A party, certainly, but there's more going on in this novel than drinking, fighting, and getting laid. (One character's summary of what kids go to parties to do.) We watch them pass through transforming, redemptive experiences between sunset and sunrise. There are really, really, bad decisions made by some of these kids, but there's some amazing re-thinking, apologizing, and owning-up afterward. I had to think hard to come up with a complaint about the book. I promised above to return to the exceptions to Leveen's success in creating eleven distinctive voices. So here's my only complaint. I found it tough to keep Tommy, Daniel, and Matt from mushing together in my head. In fairness, Matt doesn't get his own chapter. But Tommy and Daniel do, and I still had a hard time, while I read, remembering anything very distinguishing about either of them. Later it occurred to me that this could have been purposeful on the author's part; along with Ryan and Josh, Tommy-Daniel-Matt make a five-some who have spent years together. They have a lot in common and maybe we're supposed to notice similarities instead of differences. Or maybe I just need to go back and have a second, slower read. Hmm, that sounds nice. And I think I'll go ahead and register for my class reunion in Santa Barbara this fall.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

11 Teens from Santa Ba...

11 Teens from Santa Barbara High School are about to attend what might be the biggest party of the year. The school year is finally over and it's time to have fun. This story is told in 11 chapters, with each chapter pertaining to each of the teens in which the story starts with Beckett. She's the girl no one remembers or notices, the girl with a secret. When you begin to read Beckett's part, you'll have no choice but to keep reading and learn about the other people who are attending the party. Everyone's point of view matters and everyone's voice is written unique and flawless, Tom Leveen has created incredible real life characters in this story. I'm still in awe of how GOOD this story was. It's fast paced in which the suspense builds up with every chapter. Every character adds more dimension to the story with their version of the night of The Party, in which certain gaps between different characters are filled, making your eyes literally open wide. I felt my heart ache, i became angry, i laughed, and i cried while reading this book. One word to sum it all up= AMAZING. I believe that every teenager should read this book because it honestly captivates how one's perception can be completely different from another. That what we see on the outside can be wrong because we don't know what is inside. Tom Leveen did such a fantastic job in this book, weaving together 11 teens and their point of view of the party, telling a complete story of life, friendship, emotions, and truth.

Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Told in eleven chapter...

Told in eleven chapters, each written from the first person perspective of a different teenager headed on a collision course with one another on the night of an end-of-school-year house party, this first novel manages to be fun and even somewhat original. While not all of the eleven narrators succeed in creating a distinct, memorable voice, the depressed loner Beckett, the troubled football star Anthony, and the lovelorn Josh stand out as memorable, convincing characters. The plot is really simple (how the chaos resulting from a wild beer bash has the unexpectedly cathartic effect of restoring order to the lives of some troubled teens), and the author clearly seems more interested in exploring social issues such as racism bred by the War on Terror, the way in which teenage boys and girls bond with one another (both in same-sex groups and in their volatile hookups and relationships), the different ways teenagers assert their individuality as they break away from parental control, and the curious moral code that seems to keep these kids from descending into anarchy. Some of the characters' choices strike false notes and the story line relies a little too much on coincidence to ensure that the eleven cross paths enough times in that one fateful night, yet the rising sun brings with it hope that this generation of young people is its way to responsible adulthood.


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