cover image Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb

Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb

George Rabasa. Unbridled, $15.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-60953-035-8

In Rabasa's clever mix of the absurd and the tragic, 13-year-old Adam Webber meets the woman of his dreams in 15-year-old Francine "Miss Entropia" (Pia for short) Haggard as the two are being driven to a mental institution for rich kids. Adam immediately falls in love, hijacks the van, and whisks himself and Pia away to the parking lot of a nearby mall, where the night they spend together feeds Adam's dreams for the next four years after he's caught and re-institutionalized%E2%80%94despite the fact that his antics lead to his estrangement from Pia. When, after graduating from the institution, Adam is helping his mother distribute socks to the homeless, he runs into Pia, who is now suspected of arson and is living in an abandoned warehouse. His passion burning hotter than ever, Adam persuades her to hide out from the cops at his parents' house, but the half-baked idea leads to another felony spree and some devastating consequences. Despite the plot's inherent darkness, Rabasa (The Wonder Singer) maintains a playful cleverness throughout, fueled by piquant dialogue and sharply etched characters who maintain their humanity in the face of the occasional credulity-straining scenario. Well-played, keenly felt. (Apr.)