Title: Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing
Author: Steven Luna
Published: August 2013 by Booktrope Publishing
Genre: Fiction, Coming of Age
Tyler is having a rough year. His mom got diagnosed with cancer and died shortly after. It’s so painful for Tyler that he thinks of her as being ‘uncreated’ rather than dying; he can’t seem to use the word associated with death. He is gifted with his guitar, a real prodigy, and he has an audition at a prestigious school. Tyler plays his piece perfectly and then totally blows it…on purpose. He keeps messing up with things like school, and his relationship with his dad, and eventually gets punished for it. The punishment is that he has to clean the house and garage, in which he ends up finding his mother’s journals. Tyler soon finds out some family secrets that could change his whole world.
This story took me on a ride through Tyler’s life. I felt like I was him, experiencing everything through his eyes. I remembered what it felt like to be a teenager.
Tyler’s relationship with his dad, Tom, is really hurting since his mom died. Tom does try, but Tyler is just so angry about his mom that he’s kind of a jerk on purpose. I feel bad for Tom (well, both of them really), but there is some sort of closure in the ending, so the book is not going to leave you depressed.
So if you want to reminisce and feel like teenager again, or you have a teenage son yourself, give Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing a try. It’s not often I come across young adult/new adult books written from the male’s point of view. And honestly, I wouldn’t have picked it up for myself, but after reading it, I’m glad I gave it a chance.
My Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
*****I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*****