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Out of the Blue

Italian book blogger. Loves Jane Austen, ice cream, and the colour blue.
Vote for Larry - Janet Tashjian This was supposed to be a mini-review, because I thought I didn't have much to say about this book. While writing the post, however, I realized something that bothered me, and the mini-review became a full-fledged one.

Spoiler alert: there's no way of summarizing the plot for the second installment in the Larry series without spoilering the ending of The Gospel According to Larry. Read at your own risk!

Josh Swensen, aka Larry, is back. After committing "pseudocide", that is killing his alter ego by faking his own death, he now lives under a false name, attends college lessons, and has a new girlfriend, Janine. On enight, however, he is "kidnapped" by his former childhood friend Beth and her boyfriend Simon, who prompt him to run for President. Josh's goal is not to actually become President (he's barely 18), but to convince as many young people as possible to vote and get involved in politics. Of course, there is someone who does not want Josh/Larry to succeed and creates problem for him at every step of the way; and there's the love triangle Josh/Beth/Janine.

I found this novel enjoyable, but I think the first novel in the series was done better. The Gospel According to Larry was much more believable. I had some trouble suspending my disbelief that a 18-year-old would be allowed to run for president, but I find it admirable that the author wanted to raise a political conscience in teenagers. When you are a teen, politics can seem something very distant and removed from you. Yet, if you don't vote and choose your representatives, someone else will make a decision for you.

However, whiole writing this review I realized that something doesn't add up in this novel. In The Gospel According to Larry, we get to see that the writing on Josh's graveyard stone (his mother had it done for him before dying) is "Josh Swensen 1983 - ". Vote for Larry seems to be taking place during the 2004 presidential elections, as Josh runs for the Peace Party against Bush and Kerry. There is emphasis on the fact that during the first phase of the campaign, Josh is still 17, and his birthday is in September. But if Josh was born in 1983, his 18th birthday would be in September 2001, not 2004. Of course, there were no presidential elections in 2001. Call me a nit-picker, but these details bother me.

The villain in this novel is also kind of disappointing. If you pay attention to character names, you might figure it out before Josh does. And why do they get to walk away free after deliberately trying to run over someone with a car?

As for the outcome of the Josh/Beth/Janine love triangle... Duh, Josh. It seems you always want to pursue the girl you can't have at the moment. Haven't you been in love with Beth for half of your life? She might be a flirt, but she's better suited for you. And when a girl runs away from you without leaving a trace, there's a good chance she does not want to be found.

I'd like to read the third Larry book, Larry and the Meaning of Life. However, it has never been published in Italy, so it's impossible to find here. I have read a few reviews on Goodreads and I don't think it is worth ordering.

Cover attraction: clean look, yet effective.