cover image Kill All Happies

Kill All Happies

Rachel Cohn, read by Lauren Ezzo. Dreamscape Media, , unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-5200-7217-3

Cohn sets her rowdy YA novel in the town of Rancho Soldado in Arizona. With graduation looming, high school senior Vic Navarro is feeling lost. She does not know what to do with the rest of her life, since she didn’t get into college. She is especially distraught to learn her favorite restaurant, Happies, a local institution for generations, is closing. Vic decides to channel her frustrations and lack of direction into throwing an over-the-top party at Happies for the senior class, but she has to do it secretly to avoid the wrath of the vengeful Miss Ann Thrope, a sadistic high school teacher and head of the city council. When bus loads of fellow Happies enthusiasts show up to join the out-of-control revelry, Vic can only hang on and try to contain the ensuing chaos. Actor Ezzo gleefully throws herself into the farce, milking the over-the-top comedy. Her Vic is melodramatic yet immensely likable; Vic’s love interest, Jake, sounds every bit the gorgeous-but-dimwitted hunk he is; and Miss Ann Thrope hisses and shrieks like a cartoon villain. It’s a fun, rollicking listen. Ages 14–up. A Hyperion hardcover. (May)