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The Domino Effect

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  46 reviews
The Domino Effect is the story of Danny Rorro, a charismatic kid from Queens poisoned by the past. A series of painful defeats have left him scarred and isolated from his neighborhood, his parents, and, most significantly, the benevolent ways of his childhood when he was known as “Domino.” With great insight, imagery and wit, Danny recalls his past in Queens and his coming ...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published April 29th 2011 by Brownstone Editions LLC
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  124 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Lisa Martinez
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I began reading The Domino Effect with fervent anticipation. I had read a sample before the book arrived, and I had a good feeling about it. One can often, but not always, tell a bad book from the first paragraph, but one can certainly tell a really, really good one that way.

Case in point. When I read the sample, the author's voice, or more to the point, the voice of Danny "Domino" Rorro stood out as something I wanted more of. The ambiance was set, and I sensed I was in for a fantastic ride. I
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: author-request
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

While this is in the realm of YA, this is not the typical book that I read. That said, I really enjoyed The Domino Effect. This book focuses on the internal and external journey of Danny (Domino) as he goes through his turbulent teenage years. We travel with him through his rough childhood and growing up in his Italian family as well as going with him to boarding school where he juggles a beautiful girlfriend, wrestli
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 12/16/11
Almost been 6 weeks and still haven't received. :( 01/23/12
Received last night 2/2/12 and started today 2/3/12
Finished last night. 2/5/12

Domino is growing up in New York in a predominantly Italian neighborhood. He has his group of friends that play ball. He is savagely attacked at the end of his freshman year due to the racist feelings of his former friends because his father has been accepting the new Hispanic residents in
Jason Maurer
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully told coming-of-age story about the shortcomings, dreams and desires of Danny Rorro. He is always trying to forget his past, but his present-day adventures and fighting with the school wrestlers leads to love, loss of the girl he desires force him to face up to the things he tries so hard to ignore. A great story that left me wanting more as the final chapter came to a close.
Ara of My Book and My Coffee
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“This is a story that will make you think about your own actions in your everyday life. I think readers can get more from this book than just the pleasure of reading it. It’s about a young boy’s memorable journey growing up. I'm definitely amazed. Well done.” – Ara of My Book and My Coffee

Indeed, The Domino Effect is a fast-paced and powerful story. And I mean, totally. You would think that a coming-of-age novel will be dragging and boring for most parts but not for this one. It is a journey tha
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it

This book was sent to me by the author. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read your work. Great book!

On the back cover:
"The Domino Effect is the story of Danny Rorro, a charismatic kid from Queens poisoned by the past. A series of painful defeats have left him scarred and isolated from his neighborhood, his parents, and, most significantly, the benevolent ways of his childhood when he was known as "Domino." With great insight, imagery and wit, Danny recalls his past in Queens a
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Every once and a while a young adult book comes along that surprises me. The Domino Effect falls into this category, both thoughtful-- yet humorous, moralistic-- yet light-hearted. Cotto's coming-of-age story left me invigorated, and thinking to myself, “Now, that's how you tell a story.”

Though The Domino Effect has not seen the rampant readership like current fantasy and sci-fi novels, it should. The story chronicles the high school career, particularly the senior year, of Danny “Domino” Rorro.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Domino Effect is Andrew Cotto’s debut novel. Having said that, I actually read his second novel ‘Outerborough Blues’ first. Yeah, that’s me, shun what society thinks right? But I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this coming of age novel just as much.

With Danny Rorro, Cotto creates a character that teens and adults will relate to as many have faced bullying in their lives. The Domino Effect is about rising above adversity, racial tension and obstacles placed our paths. Told with a combinatio
Karen Ball
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-challenge
Danny Rorro's a mostly nice kid from Queens, who's grown up with a solid Italian family and comfortable neighborhood. All that changes when he's attacked with a bat toward the end of his freshman year -- an attack driven by racism because his music teacher father had been singing on the stoop with the newer Hispanic neighbors. Moving to Catholic school the next year is far worse, partly because Danny is struggling to deal with his rage, and near the end of the year his psychiatrist recommends sw ...more
Cindy Hudson
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Danny Rorro is happy growing up in his mostly Italian neighborhood in Queens, where he is known as Domino, or little Dominick, after his dad. But the neighborhood is changing, and as much as Danny would like to believe that ethnicity doesn’t count, not everyone feels that way. When he tries to bridge the gap by playing basketball with a group of Latins, older kids call him “Spic lover,” and “traitor.” Before long, they decide to teach him a lesson with a baseball bat that lands him in the hospit ...more
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
(I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.)

My feelings toward this book oscillated a bit as I read, mostly due to my reactions toward Danny (Domino), the main character. I started out loving the book - the story pulled me in right away, Danny was a character I could empathize with, and I found myself dying to know what happened next. That was just the introduction.

As soon as I hit the first "real" chapter in the book, I stopped liking Danny so much. At times, his New Yorkishn
Tracey (Life and Literature)
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
domino effect - the consequence of one event setting off a chain of similar events (like a falling domino causing a whole row of upended dominos to fall)

This is the story of Danny Rorro. A kid from Queens, who has been raised to accept people for who they are and to always do the right thing. Until there is an event that occurs which will change Danny and the way that he views things. A decision is made to send Danny off to boarding school where Danny's roommate is Terence, the only black studen
Melanie Adkins
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Danny's father had a motto he lived by, included everyone. The problem was, it created pressure for Danny with his friends. Danny's father tried to make him see his decisions effected others, even those he wouldn't think of. Danny, of course didn't see this in his day to day life until his senior year of high school. He'd attended three schools by this point and had few friends left. Little by little Danny began to see where his decisions influenced the events of other around him. Now he could ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This story takes place in the 90's. Danny's childhood wasn't all fun and games. His father always taught Danny to be the bigger person when it comes to acceptance. Danny, aka Domino, was dealt a bad hand when he tried to include the new arrivals at his school. He lived in a predominately Italian neighborhood and there was an influx of Spanish families moving in. The neighborhood wasn't as accepting of the new kids and caused some problems with Danny that lead to his downward spiral. His parents ...more
Sara Bree High
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Domino Effect
By Andrew Cotto
Reviewed by S. Bree High YATR

Danny Rorro, better known as Domino, had some troubles just like most teenagers. Now he has moved to a new school. Hamden Academy this is a shot for something different. Can he get over the past and start anew?
Danny takes a chance and he wants the girl... she is that girl, the one.....Brenda Divine! Danny wants this; he wants to be her boyfriend and friend. He wants the normal teenage things. He wants to have a good life, get past it a
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Domino Effect is the coming of age story of a young boy named Danny, or, "Domino".
Like you would expect from a story of the life of a young teen, The Domino Effect highlights many issues Danny faces- love, friendship, bullies and his parents!

Danny is a likeable character, full of wit and charm - and a little arrogance.
I think I began to like Danny even more than I initially did after an incident happened whilst playing with some friends in his childhood neighbourhood. Danny made a racial com
Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it

The Domino Effect is a coming of age story about Danny Rorro, an Italian kid from Queens who just can't seem to catch a break. Now I HATE the phrase coming of age but until there are better synonyms than fecundity and virility it will have to do. Anyways, we follow Danny through his high school life as he struggles with the common teenage annoyances: shitty schools, unstable friends and painful romances. Ugh, I'm so glad high school is over. *

The book is unique in the way it's organized. It
ABC Group
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
I bought Cotto's first novel because of my interest in his new book on publishing imprint IG Publishers. I got a copy directly from the author and he was nice enough to send a signed copy.

The Domino Effect is essentially a coming of age novel. Set in Queens, young Danny Rorro tells us about many of the trials he's facing growing up in a rough neighborhood. Eventually, things get bad enough for him that his family moves him to a new neighborhood and then to a boarding school. It's at Hamden Acade
Sharon L. Sherman
Dec 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
Andrew Cotto's coming-of-age novel focuses on a teen boy's dilemmas in school. He starts high school as a freshman in Queens and is a senior at a prep school out-of-state when the story winds down. His first real love and his friendships are tested as issues related to moving up in the world also come to the fore.

Danny "Domino" Rorro also comes to terms with his changing perceptions about his father and realizes that what Mr. Rorro knows about justice and fairness is what will get him safely th
Gina's Library
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I read this book for the author.

The main character Daniel had a rough time growing up in his neighborhood.

Daniel didnt always like the way his dad looked at things. His dad taught him to do the right thing, not the easy thing.

Daniel struggled with that all his life. Things were suppose to be easier not the same or harder at Hamden Academy.

The lesson I learned from this book is that we really need to stop and think of our actions. Sometimes our actions really do start a domino effect. You do/say
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing

I started reading this book on the plane home from vacation. Within a few pages I had a big smile on my face. It wasn't long before those turned to tears and I was trying to hide them from the other passengers on the plane. That can only mean that I was able to connect with the character --- a sure sign of a good author. I wasn't able to get back to reading it until I left for my next trip and it was easy to get right back into into it. I really enjoyed the rest of it. I handed my Kindle over t
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This coming of age novel is a sweet and honest story about a young Italian boy called Danny Rorro who is trying to find the fine balance between carefree teenage years and a clear conscience. His father has brought Danny up to always strive to do what's right, even if that means losing friends or status along the way. This doesn't always marry up with the things Danny desires in life, and it's this that causes much of his conflict. When Danny meets a beautiful and charming girl named Brenda, his ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a coming of age story of the best sort. Both the first person narrative and dialogue ring true. We get a clear feel for both the main character’s personality and the ambience. I have no idea about US school life but all the events were utterly believable as were Danny’s explanations of his state of mind and emotions. A very enjoyable read. For some reason I was reminded of Salinger’s Holden Caulfield and not merely because of sentences like, “She killed me, that Brenda.” I recommend givi ...more
Oct 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Lyssa by: Mike
This is a well written but simple coming of age tale of a teenaged boy. The main character, Danny, faces challenges growing up when he finds himself the victim of a hate/race crime due to his Father's beliefs. This act of violence changes the course of his life and causes Danny to feel that he was cheated of his childhood. We follow Danny through 4 years of high school as he learns to deal with the consequences of violence and how choices and reactions shape our individual lives.
Jenee Rager
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Domino Effect is one of the best coming of age novels that I have ever read. All the keystone challenges a person may face (racism, classism, bullying, rape, love, etc) are touched upon in this novel. Fast paced and easy to read, you follow Danny as he moves from his childhood home, where he's been bullied for his father's beliefs in equality, to the rich boarding school where he is willing to do almost anything to fit in.

*Won through Goodreads.
Eileen Johnson
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I throughly enjoyed this book, about a young man growing up in the 90's and learning, sometimes the hard way, that every thing he does has an effect on other people. Whether Danny "Domino" pulls a prank, or makes an off the cuff comment about his roommate's ethnic history, or argues with his father, his actions cause a domino effect on himself and others. It's a life lesson for everyone.

May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I was lucky enough to win this book from a Goodreads giveaway. It was one of those books that I probably would have given a 3.5 to if I had that option. It was a coming of age story about a boy in his high school years. The mom in me cringed at some of what he went through, although some parts seemed implausible. Overall it was a good read that I would recommend to anybody.
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an enjoyable read suitable for all age groups. Andrew Cotto is a wonderful story teller. The regional flavors, characters, and details of the story set in and around Queens make this a great book.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Danny. The first three years were painful for him... The rest of the book wasn't a walk in the park either but he slowly learnt of the lessons his father tried to instill upon him.

Danny was quite a witty character
Sheryl Herchenroeder
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I would have only given this book a 3 but it had a particularly well written chapter that I plan on using with my creative writing club. Free kindle download.
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Andrew Cotto is the award-winning author of THE DOMINO EFFECT, OUTERBOROUGH BLUES: A BROOKLYN MYSTERY, and CUCINA TIPICA: AN ITALIAN ADVENTURE. Andrew has written for The New York Times, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone, Conde Nast Traveler, The Huffington Post, Parade, Salon, Maxim, Deadspin, Relish, the Good Men Project and Teachers & Writers Magazine. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from The ...more