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This One Time with Julia: First Edition
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This One Time with Julia: First Edition

3.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  253 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Joe's twin brother, Alvin, disappeared. And with him went Joe's tenuous grip on real life. The rest of it: the road trip, the maybe-murder, the burned-down house--all of that came later.

At eighteen, Joe is stuck in limbo. Directionless and simple, he blows through his inheritance playing poker and eats only cheeseburgers, pizza, and guacamole. Then his twin brother, Alvin
Paperback, 232 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Razorbill
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2012 Debut Authors (Young Adult & Middle Grade)
256th out of 1,017 books — 6,380 voters
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2012 YA Contemporary Challenge!
119th out of 214 books — 1,324 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,285)
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This One Time with Julia is the most fucked up book I've ever had the chance to read.

She popped his zit.
Kissed the spot.
And broke up with him because he licked her last cookie.
Everyone in this book is crazy.
Even Joe.
Literally crazy.


There is no plot. The characters are brainless beings who just float around during the course of this book giggling, kissing, being criminals and killing each other. Nobody talks like these people. Not even those homeless people at intersections that keep
Originally reviewed on reutreads, a young adult book blog.

I honestly don't know what to say about this book.

It's quite brilliant. I absolutely loved it.

Admittedly, I was going to deduct a star for the ending. While a bit profound, the ending of This One Time With Julia is abrupt, not really giving any closure.

But then I remember Alvin. And Houston. And Ms. Delancey. I remember Joe's signature and then Alvin again. I remember Julia--who is not the Manic Pixie Dream Girl the summary suggests. I re
Aug 31, 2012 John rated it did not like it
This book was a s**tshow. What a waste of time.
Jonathan Maas
Oct 31, 2015 Jonathan Maas rated it it was amazing
Part Norwood, part Forrest Gump, all fun!

Great book, just a unique voice. The protagonist isn't your conventional hero by any means, but there is just something about him that keeps you from putting the book down. I might not want to hire him as my pool boy, but I wouldn't mind playing a few rounds of basketball against him.

The book has brilliant shades of (sub) urban surrealism, and reminds me of the (also brilliant) Boy Genius by Yongsoo Park.

Any case brilliant! Leaves me wanting more!
Jan 03, 2015 Ashleigh rated it it was amazing
I read this in, I think, about Dec 2012 when I did a stint with a publisher and I got to read the slush pile from agents. At the time, I absolutely loved this novella and highly recommended it in my "notes". Obviously that recommendation held precisely no weight given I was just the work experience girl, but it did stick with me.
It's a relationship dynamics story of jealousy and greed from the POV of a simpleton who can't comprehend anything beyond face value, leaving the reader to discover and
Apr 24, 2015 Heidi rated it liked it
Orphaned twins Alvin and Joe have raised themselves, then Alvin leaves town with his girlfriend, Julia. Joe keeps himself busy gambling and playing basketball and trying to stay out of the way of his older brother, who clearly would rather not have the 18-year-old Joe in his house. Alvin's reappearance is followed by another disappearance. Joe imagines Alvin appears before him and carries on conversations; the reader will understand that either Joe is fooling himself or that his insistence on th ...more
May 04, 2015 Zariah rated it liked it
The description of this book is misleading.I believed it would be about a road trip but it sure is not. The book was an easy read and like any other book you are able to enter the characters world, not sure if many would like this world. The story line was not interesting, many boring events, but I kept reading because I enjoyed Joe and wanted to know how his life turned out. I loved the relationship between brothers in this book. I enjoyed the other characters such as Julia's mother and sister ...more
Mar 21, 2012 Anna rated it liked it
Weird, and not necissarily very good, but when in the mood for weird, it certainly works.
This One Time With Julia is one of the strangest books I have ever read and I do not mean that in a good way. Half the time I didn't have a clue what was going on and when I finished the book I was left wondering what the heck the point of the book was.

Joe is a very weird boy. He is 18-years-old but he can't read, has very little education, he lives on his older brother's couch, and he is very naive. I almost wondered at times of he had some mental issues but it was never mentioned. Joe's brothe
Jul 11, 2012 Erika rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
This One Time With Julia is the prime example of why sometimes you just have to stick with a book until you really understand it. It took me a long time to understand Joe.

Everything with Joe felt like a hazy mess of who-knows-what. I started to wonder if it was the writing or if this really was Joe's character...kinda slow, mentally. When you throw in the fact that Joe starts hallucinating conversations with his twin brother, it just got weirder.

It was some point after the third hallucination
Feb 05, 2012 Somer rated it liked it
Well this was a strange little book… To be honest, if I hadn’t been reading it for the Debut Author’s ARC Tour I don’t think I would have finished it. I am glad that I did finish it, because it grew on me…a little anyway. The story is told by Joe. It doesn’t take long to realize that Joe is different. Joe is the only character I sort of liked. He was sweet and quirky. The other characters were downright strange and awful! Neither of Joe’s brothers really cared about him. Julia was just too self ...more
May 16, 2012 Barbara rated it liked it
Although the cover and the book blurb might make some readers think this title is about a joyful road trip taken by two madcap teens falling in love, it's far from that. In many respects, it's a story about madness, living on the edge, and self-absorption as well as individuals who are morally bankrupt. I don't know who I felt sorrier for among this whole lot. Joe and Alvin are twin brothers living in California whose parents disappeared when they were quite young. After leaving Los Angeles with ...more
Jul 13, 2013 Brina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Als ich zum ersten Mal von "Vom Finden der Liebe und anderen Dingen" erfahren habe, war ich auf dieses Buch sehr gespannt und habe gehofft, dass mich das Buch so richtig umhauen könnte, aber leider war dies nicht der Fall.

Dabei war die Grundidee an sich gar nicht mal schlecht: Joe und Alvin klangen auf den ersten Blick sehr vielversprechend und ich wollte unbedingt mehr über die ungleichen Brüder erfahren, aber leider wurde die Geschichte für mich immer mehr zur Qual, da der Schreibstil alles an
May 03, 2013 Manja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Manchmal ist die Liebe kurz. Aber aufregend.
Joe ist das komplette Gegenteil seines Zwillingsbruders Alvin und irgendwie nicht so recht von dieser Welt. Aber zum Glück hat Joe ja Alvin, der sich stets um ihn gekümmert hat. Zumindest so lange, bis der sich Hals über Kopf in Julia verliebte. Und plötzlich ist Alvin spurlos verschwunden. Dafür taucht Julia bei Joe auf und bittet ihn, ihr bei der Suche nach Alvin zu helfen. Gemeinsam machen sich die beiden auf nach Tennessee und bald
Ina Vainohullu f
May 27, 2013 Ina Vainohullu f rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Der 18-jährige Joe lebt in seiner eigenen kleinen Welt, die jedoch tief erschüttert wird, als sein Zwillingsbruder Alvin spurlos verschwindet und dessen Freundin Julia bei ihm auftaucht. Julia bittet ihn um Hilfe und so macht sich Joe auf und stürzt in das größte Abenteuer seines Lebens.

Auf dieser einzigartigen Reise findet der zurückgebliebene junge Mann nicht nur seine große Liebe, sondern er findet auch heraus was tatsächlich mit seinem Bruder passiert ist und er lernt Dinge von denen er nich
Feb 10, 2013 Danielle rated it liked it
I JUST finished this book and...
It was certainly not what I was expecting and I'm not going to go too deep into what happened. I went in thinking that it would be a John Green-esque road trip with a quirky coming-of age aspect mixed together with some mystery and intrigue. This book was no such thing. In fact, Joe, the main character, was almost always disconnected from his surroundings, which made reading it a surreal, disjointed experience. And the fact that we weren't shown the very lar
Mar 06, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
For all of you who like weird books, this one is for you! Joe isn't the brightest boy in the bunch--he'd rather gamble than learn to read or be lazy instead of be productive. He might be LD or have Asberger's or something else, but no one has cared enough to find out for him. His twin brother Alvin likes that Joe never changes, but Alvin isn't the most mentally stable kid in town either.

When Alvin disappears, Joe escapes with Alvin's ex-girlfriend and basically takes his place as pool boy. Joe f
This was just weird. The characters don't make sense, they all have mental issues or something. Joe spends most of the book talking to his twin who isn't actually there. Julia can't go to sleep without climbing some imaginary ladder and freaking out about breakfast. Everyone has a terrible life, and there's no real ending. I just don't get it.
Feb 05, 2015 Shu rated it it was amazing
I liked the style of writing. Some parts of the dialogue made me laugh. And there were a lot of lovable characters that were complex and surprising and sad and nonchalant and happy at the same time. Life is so full of impossible things that I can't understand. This book was a feeling in its entirety. And I liked feeling it.
Apr 15, 2015 Thebarabaka rated it really liked it
At first it was like "the heck is that?" Really, the narration is quite weird, the curt dialogues are mostly baffling, the characters are all bizarre with no exception, but... Strangely enough, once you get the hang of it, the book simply grows in you and keeps you wonder to the end what will happen next.
Annabelle Burdsal
Jan 06, 2016 Annabelle Burdsal rated it liked it
I read this book in one sitting- at first, I thought this meant I thought the book was good. On more careful consideration, I found I read it through because I knew if I stopped, I would never pick it up again. Read at your own risk, and risk losing two hours to the madness that is this book.
Zoe Cohen
Apr 18, 2012 Zoe Cohen rated it liked it
Joe is 18 and is not the brightest person. He lived on his older brother, Alvin's, couch. He only eats cheeseburgers and pizza, and has a gambling problem. The story is told from Joe's view switching back and forth from past to present. He is explaining this time he had with his girlfriend Julia. On top of the story he is telling Alvin has disappeared.

The book was confusing. The switching from the story to real life along with two separate plots made the book really confusing to follow. It didn
Jun 18, 2012 Sandra rated it did not like it
This is going to be a short review because I really didn't like this book. I liked that it was short, I was able to read it all in one night and honestly if it had been longer, I probably would have given up on it. The first thing that struck me was the awkward dialogue. It sounded so forced. I thought for awhile that maybe Joe had some sort of mental disorder and when it was finally explained that he had ADD, it made a little more sense. But really, everyone in the book (with the possible excep ...more
Jun 24, 2012 Caitlin rated it liked it
First of all, this book is unlike anything you've ever read before. The characters and plot are weird and verging on the edge of unsettling.

The protagonist Joe is an odd one; he only eats cheeseburgers from McDonalds, lives off his brother Marcus and has no sense of maturity or independence. He meets Julia who is seemingly normal but speaks nonsense in her sleep... creepy. There really isn't a plot line to this story so it will only take a few days to read. The plot line itself is dull,
May 13, 2016 Peyton rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
Weird, wacky, and witty. This One Time with Julia's secrets unfold smoothly, desultorily while its plot rushes headlong with all the subtlety of a runaway eighteen-wheeler. Lampson seems to relish taking his readers for a ride, and I enjoyed every minute of going along with him. The characters are idiosyncratic, the language is strange, and the story is sad, but the book is almost perfect. I just wanted to hug poor Joe and Julia, even while I laughed out loud at their quirks. A solid story peopl ...more
Melissa Zavala
At this point Alvin just ran off from home. I believe that joe and Julia will eventually fall in love when they go on the road trip together.
Jun 07, 2012 Angel rated it did not like it
Posted on Seashell Reviews at Mermaid Vision Books!

Quirky characters are part and parcel of great YA fiction, butThis One Time With Julia may have taken things a bit too far. Despite my willingness to follow what promised to be a difficult character, I found it challenging to even understand what was happening in the novel. At times, it felt as though David Lampson was attempting to channel Daniel Keyes' groundbreakingFlowers for Algernon, but there was no heart or rationality to the story.
Apr 14, 2014 Jourdan rated it it was ok
Weirdest book of my life. Do not read. I was confused from beginning to end.
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Did not like it. 2 2 Feb 13, 2014 11:23AM  
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