Rummanah Aasi
  We all have done stupid things when we are angry. We suspend logic and consequence just for a moment where we can unleash our frustration. It's only after the fact that we take action, we often realize that sometimes ideas are better left in our minds. Welcome to Alex Gregory's life where confusion, anger, and teen angst collide which result in a bittersweet, humorous, and poignant story.

Description: Alex thought he was over his parents' divorce that is until his mother went on her first date and his father left Alex's family to pursue a relationship with one of his former teachers. Angry, hurt, and confused, Alex wanted to get revenge from his dad. What really happened? Alex decides to get drunk, steal his mom's car, and drive to his father's home. The result? A damaged car, a decapitated gnome, a drunk driving charge, and community service. How is Alex going to get out of this mess?

Review: Notes from a Midnight Driver could have easily been a book that is seeped with serious overtones, yet Sonneblick spins his own tale infusing humor while tackling responsibility, consequence, and forgiveness. Alex seems like your everyday teen boy who is just trying to live his teen years day by day. His impulsive decision to get drunk and drive isn't glamorized and we can't help but shake our heads in dismay in his incredibly stupid and dangerous action. Alex knows that we did wasn't smart, but thinks his sentence to 100 hours of community service at a nursing home, where he is assigned to Sol Lewis, a notoriously difficult resident with a reputation for practical jokes isn't fair. He desperately writes appeal letters to his judge in requesting a lighter sentence, but he is constantly rejected.
  Alex is an enjoyable character who revels in self deprecation. He admits to his irrational and impulsive actions, but we can understand and feel his frustration and confusion when it comes to his family life. He never really understood why his parents split up and he can't help but feel abandoned by both of his parents. It is only through his time spent with the acerbic and hiliarious Sol, does Alex come to several epiphanies regarding love and forgiveness.
  In addition to Alex's personal growth, there are also other subplots in the book such as Sol's past and his love of music (a passion he shares with Alex) and Alex confusing, romantic feelings for his best friend named Laurie. These subplots are woven nicely, realistic, and enrich the novel. I particularly liked how this book discussed the importance of volunteerism and working with the elderly. Notes from a Midnight Driver is a great book that discusses important issues without being heavy handed and book that I'm sure many young adults will really enjoy.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is a scene of underage drinking and drunk driving as well as some language. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jonathan Sonnenblick
2 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    This one sounds great Rummanah! I love how it tackles a serious situation with a little bit of humor so it doesn't come across as a public service announcement about drunk driving:)

  2. Brittany Says:

    This sounds great! I really enjoyed Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie so I might just pick this one up!

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