NJ's Reviews > Notes from the Midnight Driver

Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
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Apr 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: top-of-my-list, i-recommend, hurts-my-happiness, young-adult, ebook, must-haves-slash-wishlist, reviewed-uhm-sort-of, good-characterization
Recommended for: Everybody
Read from April 25 to 26, 2011

Here is a book filled with humor all throughout. Not the usual slapstick comedy routine, but the kind that is dripping with sarcasm. The humor comes from the narrator, 16-year old Alex, who will wait for two more years before he can get his driver's license. Why is that? One fateful Friday night, he just took his mom's car while she was on a date determined to pay his estranged father a not-so-friendly visit. That didn't sound so bad, but the fact that he drank Vodka from what was left of his father's liquor cabinet didn't make things better. In fact, I'm pretty sure that made everything worse.

The narration and the character itself reminded me of Cameron from Going Bovine by Libba Bray, sans profanity. I think Jordan Sonnenblick writing children's books accounts for the lack of profanity in this book. Too bad. In many ways, Alex is like Cameron: mediocre, loveless, and a loser. In the end, they both realized they are, in fact, not. But the end is not what is important and worthy of reading, but their entire journey through redemption.

As for Alex, his punishment is serving in a nursing home, specifically an old Jewish guy named Solomon Lewis. Sol is a very nasty, very smart, and wistful guy who's very good at counter-sarcasm. He and Alex make a very formidable diabolical duo, that is, if only the older guy wouldn't make Alex's life miserable enough. I find their whole relationship very endearing, sort of reminiscent of Tuesdays with Morrie. There are times when they make me laugh out loud, and there are times when they made me cry.

Jordan Sonnenblick is very good at taking serious matters and coating it with just the right amount of funny - kind of like hiding vegetables in kids' food - for people of all ages to enjoy and get the lesson at the same time. I am looking forward to reading his other books. (view spoiler)

All in all, a very satisfying and wonderful read. Sonnenblick just earned an honorary spot in my favorite YA authors list. I absolutely recommend it. It was short enough to be read in just one sitting (I read it for give or take four hours) but not too short to leave you wanting more.
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