March 4, 2016

Man Up and Read Sara Benincasa's "D. C. Trip"



I bought this because I follow the author on Twitter.

I have bought several books because of twitter people. It has been, let me tell you, hit or miss.

I thought I would try this one out though I had the idea it wasn’t really my demographic. I thought it was YA (The author was nice enough to talk to me a bit on twitter after I had read it and disabused me of the notion that the book was YA – just because it was about teenagers mostly, it wasn’t necessarily YA).

The thing is that genre classifications here don’t really matter. It’s a good book, full stop. The story is some kids from Jersey go to DC and find themselves. It could be the recipe for formulaic emptiness, but of the four main characters of the book, they are deep and interesting and you care about their growth and development. You end up rooting for them. It is well paced to the point it feels a bit cinematic with a larger arc with some smaller embedded arcs. If it is not on its way to being a movie yet, it should be.

My only worry is that some of the secondary characters are a little flat. The love interests are one-dimensional, and the rivals of the central group of girls are a bit stereotypical, but the central characters are so strong so this both erases that to me (even if the secondary flatness is only visible because of direct comparison to these central characters – it’s a paradox). This is a definite recommendation on my part, even if you may not think it is your demographic, it is. The last time I really felt this way was 12 year ago, reading the great Julianna Baggott’s “Girl Talk” in its bright pink cover.