I request a lot of stuff on NetGalley, reeled in by the appealing summaries. Most times I DNF these books, but sometimes you strike it lucky: a novel from an author (and publisher) you’ve never heard of before, that knocks your socks off. Alexa Nazzaro’s The Pool Theory is that book.
It’s told from the point of view of tenth-grader Kye, whose voice and thoughts are completely and utterly believable. Most times when female authors write men, they’re just not realistic (in my female opinion), but Kye totally is. The tone reminded me of the film Juno, and not just because of the subject matter. The up-in-the-air ending will frustrate readers wanting closure, but I understand why the author chose it – because in life, you can’t see the future. And I applaud any author with the guts to tell it like it is.
The characters watch a lot of ’80s films, which felt like the author giving the characters her taste, but otherwise I was completely into The Pool Theory, and highly recommend it for fans of smart, honest, and awkward contemporary teen fiction. I’m definitely looking forward to whatever comes next from Alexa Nazzaro.