Have you ever been in a book funk? You know, where nothing grabs your attention. For three months, I’d read the first chapter or two of a book then never return to it. Nothing stuck. I buy the Young Adult books, and, in doing so, read a lot of reviews. Sometimes I’ll read a review and get really excited about a book only to be let down. I had a good feeling about Thanks for the Trouble when I read the review for it, then I gave a quick, silent prayer to the book gods that maybe, just maybe, this would bring an end to the funk.
It did. It totally did! I looooooooved this book! Read it. Just go read it. No? You need some convincing? OK, here we go…
Parker Santé has been mute ever since his father died in a car accident five years ago. Now he communicates via his journals and sign language. He skips school a lot, and one of his favorite pastimes is hanging out at hotels so he can steal from unsuspecting rich folks. One such victim is silver (not platinum) haired Zelda. Parker spots Zelda looking perfectly sad, but also notices her fat wad of cash. After swiping the dough, Parker thinks better of it and returns the money. Zelda matter-of-factly states that she plans to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge after she spends all of her money on a charity case. She agrees to spend the money on Parker as long as he agrees to go to college. This kick-starts a weekend that will change Parker completely. Also, did I mention that Zelda looks like she’s seventeen, but claims to be 250 years old?
I absolutely loved Parker’s voice. He’s witty without being obnoxious, and he’s an excellent writer. He grew up reading faerie tales–the real ones, not the sanitized Disney versions he says–and we’re treated to faerie tales that he has written himself. Most are bleak, but he can’t help being a bit romantic. Parker grows, and Zelda shows him that it’s better to live your life than to hide yourself from everyone else.
Do I have issues with the ending? I do, but it didn’t take the shine off the rest of the book. I highly recommend this to John Green fans and readers of Andrew Smith.