Audrey's Reviews > Hammond

Hammond by Jonathan LaPoma
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really liked it

4.25 stars

This review is based on an ARC of Hammond which I received courtesy of the author, Jonathan LaPoma. (THANK YOU SO MUCH I LOVE YOU!)

This is the book that marks Jonathan LaPoma as my favorite underrated author. I had already loved his style of writing after reading The Summer of Crud (one of my favorite reads this year; see my review here), but Hammond really drives the point home.

Storyline aside for a moment, let me talk about Jon LaPoma's talent with prose. This book is simply one of the most genuinely emotional novels I have read in a hot minute. At times the novel will switch from past-tense narration to a present-tense, flow-of-conscious monologue about people or things that the main character gets passionate about, and my god this just sucks you in and slams you with all of these emotions and turmoil that the mc is going through. This novel gets so emotionally in-depth that at times I felt I was getting overwhelmed by ghosts of my own depression. I don't remember the last book I read that had so much truth and understanding packed into its words (perhaps it was The Summer of Crud).

Furthermore, the pacing is excellent, and the descriptions are so atmospheric and immersive that, though I've never been to Buffalo or even further East than St. Louis, I felt I could picture this city as if I grew up there myself.

Now to the storyline--James (our mc) is quite a unique and fascinating boy, and personally, I loved watching him grow up (view spoiler) I love how painful and realistic this is, though the not-so-happy ending may not be other people's cup of tea. Me, however, I love that stuff. If Looking for Alaska had been written in Alaska's POV I think we would see a lot of character similarities.

(I see a reoccurring trend here, with me comparing LaPoma's characters to my other favorite books' characters. Hmm...)

So, why not 5 stars? Well, simply put, I don't get sports, and a good chunk of this novel is taken up by basketball talk. At these parts, I was lost; it all just went right over my head. Actually, I was sort of getting PTSD flashbacks to 10th grade English when I had to read Slam!. Thankfully, Hammond didn't end up being so mind-numbing an experience.

Anyway, Hammond is truly a masterpiece of the coming-of-age genre. My biggest hope for this book is that it gets the attention it deserves.
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Reading Progress

October 16, 2018 – Started Reading
October 16, 2018 – Shelved
October 18, 2018 –
page 75
23.15% "god this is so good and I'm not ready for it to end :("
October 18, 2018 –
75.0% "god this is so good and I'm not ready for it to end :("
October 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Sumit (new)

Sumit RK Fantastic Review, Audrey! 👌


Audrey Sumit wrote: "Fantastic Review, Audrey! 👌"

Thank you, Sumit! :D


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