Party by Tom Leveen
Source: Random House
Grade: 3 stars out of 5
It’s the biggest party happening in Santa Barbara and everyone’s coming. For some this party can mean something different. Told in eleven different point of views, Tom Leveen covers all the bases when it comes to personality.
The novel begins with Beckett the girl who was once so bubbly and fun had the life drained out of her when her mom got cancer. She promised to never tell anyone—not her father who left and not her best friend, Ashley, who she’s slowly distancing herself from—even when the cancer finally won. But what little money her mother’s bank account had is slowly dwindling and Beckett must choose between an education and work. In one last effort to see who just might notice this shy, inverted girl in the small corner, Beckett decides to go to the party.
Then the point of view switches to Morrigan’s. Morrigan is a wild child who will do anything to piss her parents off. Why? Because they just don’t care. After breaking up with her boyfriend, Josh, of six months because he wasn’t willing to have sex Morrigan is ready to mix and mingle at the party.
Azize is from Turkey whose family moved to Santa Barbara after an incident in Arizona that was less pleasing. Azize is a friend of Beckett who also shares his love for comic books, but he’s looking to have more than one friend. At the party he befriends Max, who is friends with Brent, who also just happened to like Beckett. Sensing an opportunity to help out both friends Azize promises to get Beckett to talk to Max.
Anthony is the star football player and had the perfect season…that is until his brother came back home. He left to fight in the war in the Middle East, but he came back with a body that proves it. Anthony, after drinking an entire Jack bottle himself, is less than happy to see Azize at the party and things become dangerous.
Max has always noticed Beckett from afar, but was too shy to approach her. Hoping to grow a pair, Max is positive that he’ll talk to her at the party because the number 13 is lucky isn’t it?
Ashley is a great friend. Cool, calm, and collected. Best friend to Morrigan, Ashley’s there to pick up the mess, but at this party Ashley’s hoping to wipe the distance between her and Beckett.
Tom Leveen should have stopped at Beckett. I liked about 3-4 (3.5?) of the characters and found only about half of them memorable. Some of the POVs I find to be really useless. (I didn't include Ryan, Daniel, Tommy, Brent, and Josh in the summary).There was also one character, Morrigan, who I really just hated throughout all 11 POVs.
To me, The Party is like a classic novel. You know you should really like it because it covers themes and real life situations so emotionally and vividly, but you’re just struggling to make it through. I’m on the middle when it comes to this book; I know I should like, I kind of do like it, but then again I really did not like some of it. But I guess that's the beauty of it. Even 2 days after the novel I can't get it out of my head--it's traumatizing (in a good way).
P.S. I like to think of this book as the after-party to David Levithan's Love is the Higher Law.