This book starts with the unfortunate day of an unfortunate boy, Nate Granger. Even though he is the opposite of a jock, a Kcoj as he calls himself, he gets a basketball injury in the middle of gym. He breaks a finger. His middle finger. For the first time in forever, he gets to flip everyone off without getting into trouble. Everyone including his grumpy, abusive and hateful father. At first I expected that this boy would be the main character of the book, but then I discovered he isn’t the narrator after the first chapter. More students and one teacher are the narrators of the rest of the book. As you follow the surprising stories of Claire the popular cheerleader, Dewey the older dropout college student, Jack the high school weed-smoking money stealer, and many other stories, you discover that they all seem to have the same horrible day.
I like this book because the author shows wisdom and comic relief throughout the story. Being able to connect many stories but keep the book interesting and new is truly a talent. Jo Knowles intrigues me and keeps me guessing at what is on the next page. I only wish she would get more in depth with the individual characters’ stories.
In the book, every new story shows the connections of all the others. All the stories interlock with surprising accuracy, and the characters have at least one thing in common, even though many don’t know each other.
Reviewed by Virginia, grade 7, Dumbarton Area Library