Ryan Boudinot, Author . Grove/Black Cat $14 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8021-7065-1

A breezy, humorous first novel from Boudinot (after his collection, The Littlest Hitler ) chronicles the awkward coming-of-age of a boy whose middle-school crush entwines him into the girl’s dysfunctional family. Cedar Rivers is first introduced when he brings in his own semen for inspection under the microscope in eighth-grade science class, a stunt that impresses incipient beauty Kat Daniels. Groping summer sexual experiments ensue and are cut short as Kat has to spend a month traveling with her mom and her mom’s creepy new boyfriend, George. When Kat returns pregnant, George is the assumed suspect. Boudinot is not overly concerned by this flimsy plot, managing to inject textual interest by alternating the narrative in the voices of first Cedar then Kat, whom Cedar meets with 20 years later to sign a waiver regarding the memoir she’s about to publish. There are ironic, tongue-in-cheek moments (“Ryan Boudinot” is the name of a critic who reviewed Kat’s first book), perhaps to remind the reader not to take any of this too seriously—especially the over-the-top ending—while Boudinot provides moments of gossamer prose. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/06/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-8021-9890-7
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