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The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  153 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
A MOTHER WHO split for another man.

A father who works 24/7.

An older brother who excels at everything—and smokes a lot of weed.

A best friend, of the feminine persuasion, who only wants to be a friend, and who’s shooting a film set in cool Greenwich Village, New York.

Dylan Fontaine’s life seems to be full of drama he can’t control. But when he stars in his best friend’s movi
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Well, not bad, but I'm not as ecstatic about it as some of the other GR readers. Maybe because I'm not a teenager. Maybe because Dylan and fellow character mates seem just so perfectly likeable, even the "f-up" brother, Randy. And while I am a big cheerleader for strong female characters, the women in TLPDF are also just so perfect, too. Any time a character is doing something wrong or at least not right, it turns out they are just misunderstood. Like the mom, who leaves her family, turns out... ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Life is not easy for Dylan Fontaine. He gets good grades. He is a talented basketball player with a shot at varsity next year. He is a good guitar player and a gifted artist. Basically, he is an All-American, boy-next-door type, so when he is arrested for shoplifting underwear and carrying marijuana in his pocket, it gets people's attention. However, once he explains the weird set of circumstances that led up to that arrest, Dylan f
Sep 16, 2010 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Dylan is arrested for stealing a pair of underwear (don't worry, there's a good reason) he is also caught with the weed that someone passed him for his older brother Randy. His dad manages to work out a deal when Dylan's drug test comes back clean, but this is only the least of his problems. Dylan's older and much admired brother Randy has checked out, spending all of his time with his bandmates and smoking pot, his way of coping with their mother leaving the family to be with another man. ...more
Jun 14, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lurie, April. 2008. The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine.

Wow. Wow. Super-wow. You must read this book. I really really enjoyed April Lurie's first book, Brothers, Boyfriends, and Other Criminal Minds though it never did get the proper review since I reviewed it while I had the flu. (Here it is in its entirety: You'll just have to take my word for it that it is fabulous. Set in 1978, it is the story of one girl--her friends, her family, her neighborhood. It all works. It's just a good, good, thoro
Jun 17, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
Full review at

Summary: After Dylan’s mom moved out, his dad threw himself into work and his older brother threw himself into pot. Dylan’s the glue holding the household together, but when his best friend Angie doesn’t see him that way and Dylan gets picked up by the cops, how much longer can the glue hold up?

What I Loved: The engrossing story made me immediately care about Dylan and what he was going through. This is how it starts:

I can tell you from exp
Adrian Millan
Dec 13, 2012 Adrian Millan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My friend Joceyln recommended this book to me. Its about kid named Dylan and his brother Randy, they are going through a hard time because there mother just left them. Dylan is have a hard time because his brother Randy hangs out in the basement all day with his band smoking pot and playing music.Also his father is a doctor who never goes home. my favorite quote from the book is "before we go any further,i'd like to know exactly what Dylan took from the store. I mean..." He looks at me with an ...more
I can't even describe to you how much I loved this book. April Lurie has described the life of a teenager excatly how some of us feel. Dylan feels like he isn't as good as his brother, he doesn't understand why his mom left his family for another man, and he just wants to find out who he is. He is going through love issues - with his best friend, of all people - and his dad is never around because he is always working.

Even though I, personally, can't relate to all of the things that happen to Dy
This is a quick read, only taking me an afternoon or so to get through. But I've been reading a lot of YA lately, and this just didn't do it for me. I came from a book where the female protagonist had to fight for every bite she ate, as her alcoholic mother refused to support her. And in this novel we have Dylan, whose father is an OB-GYN with plenty of money. I mean, they're rich. Did I mention they are loaded? Because that point comes up several times. And to top it off, everyone is just so li ...more
Mar 23, 2009 Raina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like reading realistic guy fic. This felt like a portal into the minds of the guys I had crushes on in high school. Dylan is the stable one in his family. His mom left the family just a month or two ago, his dad works all the time as an ob/gyn, his brother is a major pothead whose bandmates are always hanging around the house. His best friend, who he happens to be in love with, is away for the summer.
When we meet him, though, he's being arrested.
Soon after, he begins starring in a film.
The boo
Jan 14, 2010 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was such a fantastic coming of age story, and an added delight since I'd been to NYC recently and it's all set in Brooklyn and Greenwich Village. April Lurie does a great job rendering the trials of a teenager plagued by the fact that he's the younger brother of an uber-talented sibling who is in the process of becoming a royal screw-up. She also does an amazing job of telling the story in first-person from the perspective of a teenage boy, something that I am rarely able to say of authors ...more
May 03, 2009 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, I checked this out from the library because I liked the cover. It is quite well written and is a good piece of realistic fiction. My only complaint would be that the "good" characters are a little too good. In other words, although they might act out, break the law, and what not, they're all a little too honest and confrontational for me to believe. Dylan himself seems far too talented, hard-working, and honest for a teenager. We all fall... it's okay for the characters to have ...more
Apr 17, 2009 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Elaine by: author
The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine is a book that I have been waiting to read for over a year now. This book is so great; in some ways, it's even better than April Lurie's other book, Brothers, Boyfriends and Other Criminal Minds. This book... it's so real, yet so imaginative. Lurie does an amazing job and creates each character oh so well, and no too character is too much alike. It's really amazing. Great job April. Wonderous job.
Dylan's life has gone into turmoil. His mother has left the family, his dad works non-stop and his brother has become a pot-smoking fiend. Dylan feels like he is the only responsible family member left and attempts to hold the family together. I enjoyed this book. The author blends both humor and realistic dialogue with believability. However, I was frustrated by the father's character. I felt he was underdeveloped and I never really connected with him.

I think teens, especially those going thro
Mar 02, 2011 Debbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's a reason I don't typically like friend/family dramas in teen fiction: they just seem so wishy-washy and, more often than not, too easily "fixed." The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine is no exception. It's an okay book and I feel for Dylan's identity crisis, but he doesn't really have any real conflict, in my opinion. All his problems with his family and friends and potential girlfriend are addressed in turn, but there doesn't seem like there's much passion behind any of it. I'm sure some ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dylan's mom has left the family. His dad, an OB/GYN, now spends even more time away from the family. His older brother, a talented musician, is content to play in a cover band and get high all the time. Dylan is in love with his best friend, Angie, but he hasn't told her, and they're not speaking now because she's dating a real jerk. Dylan is trying to hold it together, but he's definitely fraying around the edges. Funny and sad and deeply real.
Jan 30, 2009 Veronica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so wonderful, because it was not one of those drama-filled teen stories, nor one of the sugar-coated ones. I swear, this person had to have been a teenager that lived in the east side of austin and went to kealing when she wrote this in order to understand how the teenage mind works so thoroughly. Awesome book, and i have read a lot of books.
Kath Ann
Jan 07, 2009 Kath Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dylan is the "good" son, a 15 year old with an older brother into his band and "smoking a lot of weed", a mother who has left the family to do an art show in Paris, and a doctor father who works 24/7. A story about family, overcoming loss, anger and finding one's place in the whole scheme of life. An entertaining, insightful read.
Shedrick Crafton
I think the personality of the main character Dylan changed dramatically from the beggining of the book to the end. At the beggining it seemed like he was afraid of saying how he felt in the situations that were being thrown at him. Dylan really looked after his brother that was being influenced by his band group. Dylan helped play a part in him stoping smoking weed
Jun 07, 2008 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high school students
Shelves: realistic
Dylan is one of those characters that you fall in love with. He is the younger brother of "perfect" Randy but when their mom leaves the family for another man perfect Randy begins his downward spiral. Dylan believes his brother is still a wonderful guy and through his actions keeps Randy from totally losing it all. Great book!!!!
Aug 22, 2008 Meredith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This is a fine book. I liked reading about Dylan - he seemed like a cool kid - the local color, his life, and his interactions with his brother, his brother's friends, and his parents were realistic and believable. I'm just left with 'enh' - I'm not sure if [it's demonstrated effectively that] Dylan (or I) learned anything from this book. Still, it was fine.
Aug 17, 2008 Clay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Three and a half stars. After his mom leaves and shakes up his complacent family, straight-arrow teen Dylan loosens up and gets a life. Especially enjoyed the scenes between Dylan and his older stoner brother.
Great telling of a story where a young man tries to find himself while dealing with life's problems. His Mom left, His Dad lives at work, his brother is turning into a dopehead and to top it off His best friend, Angie, has a boyfriend and he wishes it was himself. Well crafted and well written.
Jul 22, 2008 Karin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realistic, teen
Teen boy deals with drama in his life after his mom leaves (dad busy with work, brother always stoned). His best friend/secret crush decides to make a documentary about him and it causes him to start taking some risks in his life.
Oct 31, 2008 Molly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I do think it started off with a bang and then faded a bit. However, Dylan's character and responses to his family crises are spot on. I would even suggest this one as bibliotherapy to teens with divorcing parents.
Oct 07, 2010 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
High school level story of a kid dealing with family issues and romantic feelings for his best female friend. Drug use is also prevalent so not for the younger crowd.
May 07, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartfelt, family story about a boy trying to find himself and the changes in the characters are honest.
Jul 18, 2008 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Multi-dimensional and earnest characters go a long way toward making this worthwhile. Nice atmospheric New York touches, too.
Dec 17, 2009 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I will always be able to read this book. i read it once at Noe's baseball end of season thingy and once recently and it was better than the first time. I love it!!! I would love my own copy!!
Great story about a teen boy who learns how to be spontaneous and work with what life gives him. More engaging than usual for a 'teen prob' book.
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I have the best job in the world - I write books for teens. I'm a former nurse, a native New Yorker, a wife, and a mother of four. I live near Austin, Texas, with my family, and I'm currently working on my next novel.
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