Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

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Her lengthy internal monologues, while entertaining, can frustrate the story’s momentum...This aside, Starmer (the Riverman trilogy) adeptly uses his bloody, madcap premise to heighten just how much of life is out of our control...
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

"Aaron Starmer skillfully welds sharp humor, deep loss, and roaring escapades. Truly the smartest and funniest book about spontaneous combustion you will ever read." —John Green, #1 bestselling author of The Fault In Our Stars

A darkly funny and spectacularly original exploration of friendship, goodbyes—and spontaneous combustion.
 
Mara Carlyle’s senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc.

Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last teenager to blow up without warning or explanation. As the seniors continue to pop like balloons and the national eye turns to Mara’s suburban New Jersey hometown, the FBI rolls in and the search for a reason is on.

Whip-smart and blunt, Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it while trying to make it to graduation in one piece. It's an explosive year punctuated by romance, quarantine, lifelong friendship, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bloggers, ice cream trucks, “Snooze Button™,” Bon Jovi, and the filthiest language you’ve ever heard from the President of the United States.

Aaron Starmer rewrites the rulebook with Spontaneous. But beneath the outrageous is a ridiculously funny, super honest, and truly moving exemplar of the absurd and raw truths of being a teenager in the 21st century . . . and the heartache of saying goodbye.

★ "A blood-soaked, laugh-filled, tear-drenched, endlessly compelling read." —Kirkus, starred review

★ "A wholly original YA tale of identity, friendship, love, lust, and gory, grisly death." —SLJ, starred review

"Bursting with heartache and gore, Mara’s narration appeals directly to readers’
senses of horror and humor." —Horn Book
 

About Aaron Starmer

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AARON STARMER earned his bachelor's degree in English from Drew University and his master's degree in cinema studies from New York University. He received an entirely different kind of education working for 10 years as an expert in travel literature and a specialist in African safaris. His first novel was the comic children's adventure Dweeb. He lives with his wife in Hoboken, New Jersey.
 
Published August 23, 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers. 358 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Spontaneous
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 22 2016

Subplots involving an opportunistic scientist, a foulmouthed president, and a badass FBI agent push this one into must-read territory. A blood-soaked, laugh-filled, tear-drenched, endlessly compelling read.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Sep 14 2017

Her lengthy internal monologues, while entertaining, can frustrate the story’s momentum...This aside, Starmer (the Riverman trilogy) adeptly uses his bloody, madcap premise to heighten just how much of life is out of our control...

Read Full Review of Spontaneous | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
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