The Absolute Value of -1 was angst galore. But that's okay, because I embrace Angst like the old frenemy he is. So, no problems on that front at all. The Absolute Value of -1 takes everything that made you ache and hurt in high school and puts it right up there for everyone to see and feel all over again. It makes you realize that the hurt and heartache you were suffering...is pretty much a staple in high school life. Yep, high school. It's almost always angsty and very rarely all pretty.
The main characters Lily, Noah, and Simon are the typical kids you wave to in high school, or glance at with annoyance, or just avoid like the plague really. These three teens are dealing with a love triangle of sorts (anybody else getting horrible Dawson's Creek flashbacks?). Guy likes Girl, Girl likes Other Guy, and Other Guy really doesn't give a shit about either Girl or Guy. It's poetic if you really think about it. However, this really isn't your typical Love Triangle Romance novel because said triangle is really just a small part of the overall story. Most of their angst isn't coming from your typical teen romance, but mainly from their home lives which range from terrible (Guy) to Okay (Girl) to "Wow, can things get more screwy?" (Other Guy). Their pain is all very real and very cringe-worthy.
The Absolute Value of -1 is not written in the typical YA fashion. It has Lily, Noah, and Simon narrating one part of the book respectively and then you have Suzanne (Simon's sister) who narrates a small part at the very beginning and a smaller part at the very end. With exception of Suzanne, they're all telling the same events through their eyes, with major bits left out of the other narratives because they weren't really known by those particular narrators. I was very surprised that the book was far from repetitive. With every new narrator, there was something else revealed, some new facet of the narrator's personality, and it was fascinating.
So, The Absolute Value of -1 was a pretty angsty, yet poignant read. A couple of parts also had me cringing and squicking, but I guess that's natural reaction to some things that happened. The only thing that bothered me was that we didn't get into Suzanne's inner thoughts as much as the other characters (but I understand that this wasn't her story, she was merely a part of it). Overall, it was an extremely quick read and I'm glad I read it.