cover image This Is the Part Where You Laugh

This Is the Part Where You Laugh

Peter Brown Hoffmeister. Knopf, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-553-53810-6

In this tragicomic YA debut from adult author Hoffmeister (Let Them Be Eaten by Bears), a young man contends with anger, family troubles, and romance over a few increasingly chaotic months. Travis’s summer goals are simple: improve his basketball skills, stay out of trouble, and try to cheer up his grandmother, who’s dying from cancer. He also hangs out with his best friend Creature, spends time with a mercurial girl named Natalie, and searches for his drug-addicted mother in the homeless camps around the area. But the harder Travis tries, the more things spiral out of control, and when Creature runs afoul of a vindictive gang member, it puts everything into a new perspective. Hoffmeister’s coming-of-age story is both profane and profound—as Travis eloquently puts it early on, “Fuck being here in this trailer park and waiting to die. Fuck cancer.” Excerpts from Creature’s work in progress, a combination history/erotic romance entitled The Pervert’s Guide to Russian Princesses, give the story a surreal yet poignant edge. The result is a raw, offbeat novel with an abundance of honesty and heart. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Foundry Literary + Media. (May)