review: spontaneous



Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer is one of the most unusual YA contemporaries I've read. Well, technically its got some sci-fi elements, but for the most part it felt like contemporary. I'm rating Spontaneous 3.8 out of 5. I enjoyed this book but i did have several issues with it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A darkly funny and spectacularly original exploration of friendship, goodbyes—and spontaneous combustion.
Mara Carlyle’s senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc.
Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last teenager to blow up without warning or explanation. As the seniors continue to pop like balloons and the national eye turns to Mara’s suburban New Jersey hometown, the FBI rolls in and the search for a reason is on.
Whip-smart and blunt, Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it while trying to make it to graduation in one piece. It's an explosive year punctuated by romance, quarantine, lifelong friendship, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bloggers, ice cream trucks, “Snooze Button™,” Bon Jovi, and the filthiest language you’ve ever heard from the President of the United States.
Aaron Starmer rewrites the rulebook with Spontaneous. But beneath the outrageous is a ridiculously funny, super honest, and truly moving exemplar of the absurd and raw truths of being a teenager in the 21st century . . . and the heartache of saying goodbye. 

I thought that it had a really cool concept. High school kids spontaneously(and literally) blowing up? Very interesting. It was also fun to try to find out exactly what is making these kids spontaneously explode, even though we don't actually find out the real reason. The book is more about how the main character, Mara, deals with seeing her classmates disappear in front of her very eyes.

Personally, I didn't like Mara's character that much but she admittedly has a very interesting personality. Her narration was very entertaining with her sarcastic story telling and honest views. I think she swears a tad bit too much though, which annoyed me a lot. 

The book had a brilliant start. I was really sucked into the story after the first two chapters, but after a while i got bored reading so much backstory of some irrelevant characters and sometimes Mara rambled about things that didn't seem to matter much at all. Some parts were kind of slow and nothing much was really happening for a while so it felt a bit draggy at times.
Unfortunately, I didn't really care much for any of the characters. The romance was very flat and instant, and the friendships were a little awkward. 

I did like that the book seems to be set in the modern "smartphone" era, with references to popular social media platforms like Snapchat and Twitter and how the teens used current internet slang and stuff sometimes. Makes the whole thing seem more real in a way.

Spontaneous is definitely a refreshing YA contemporary if you wanna read something a bit different from the usual YA. It's not exactly my cup of tea, but i think it had a great concept and pretty decent writing. I'm very sure other people would enjoy it just much and maybe even more than i did.

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Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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