Thanks for the Trouble – book review

Thanks for the Trouble
by Tommy Wallach
Realistic Fiction
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken in 5 years when he meets the mysterious, silver-haired Zelda Toth, whom he’s attempting to rob in the dining room of the Palace Hotel. He’s so distracted by her presence that he leaves his notebook at the scene of the crime. When he returns to retrieve it, she’s reading it. Intrigued by what she’s read and the conversation (Parker communicates by writing his questions and responses in his notebook) that follows, she makes Parker a deal – she’ll spend all of her money on him if he agrees to apply to college, and in the process, Parker has to indulge her fancies and whims (for instance, she wants to experience a real teenage party). Zelda’s a bit of an odd duck – she looks like she’s in her teens, but her mannerisms and vocabulary are sometimes strange and sophisticated. She’s also gorgeous and Parker’s “friends” immediately love her. In the process of trying to convince Zelda to stick around, Parker learns that he’s not really the social pariah he thinks he is, that people are willing and want to connect with him, and that love and life are going to pass him by if he doesn’t find a way out of the grief and silence that have enveloped him for so long. Realistic fiction with a healthy slice of magical realism and characters that readers will quickly fall in love with. This will appeal to fans of John Green and anyone who likes smart, but flawed protagonists who tell it like it is. Beautiful.

Reviewed by YA Librarian