Title: Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie
Author: Jordan Sonnenblick
Genre: YA Fiction
My Rating: ★★★★
Synopsis: Steven has a totally normal life (well, almost). He plays drums in the All-City Jazz Band (whose members call him the Peasant), has a crush on the hottest girl in school (who doesn't even know he's alive), and is constantly annoyed by his younger brother Jeffrey (who is cuter than cute - which is also pretty annoying).
But when Jeffrey gets sick, Steven's world is turned upside down, and he is forced to deal with his brother's illness, his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece, his homework, the band, girls, and Dangerous Pie (yes, you'll have to read the book to find out what that is!)
I got this book from Book Riot's Quarterly Subscription, otherwise I never would've picked it up. I don't read realistic fiction very often (ok, never). Because Book Riot got me to read it, I thought I'd resubscribe and get the next box some time this month. Much excite.
The book is almost too short. I read it in only a day and I'm the slowest reader ever. The writing is simple, yet powerful. When I wasn't laughing, I was trying not to bawl my face off. It's saying something when you can provoke an emotion besides rage out of me. Watching Steven's brother--who is in fact cuter than cute as the synopsis says--go through cancer treatment is heartbreaking. I mean, why doesn't Sonnenblick just take a sledgehammer to my chest cavity? It'd have been a lot less painful.
Steven's character is pretty funny, though he gets a little whiny at times, especially when he's feining for attention. It's nice to watch him as he learns there are more important things in life than his wants. The relationship he comes to have with his brother is, well, amazing.
Unfortunately, that all goes to hell in the sequel, After Ever After. From what I understand (mind you, I haven't read it yet) the book is set years later when Jeffrey, the younger brother, is a teen (yay, he survived the first book). Steven's not around, however, because he's gone off to Africa to find himself (musicians, eh?). I'm not sure what that's all about, but I'm looking forward to seeing Jeffrey grown up.
I'm glad I gave this book a try. It's made me more willing to break through my cocoon of science fiction and fantasy and try something realistic.