SYNOPSIS AND SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:
Michael Flynn is just trying to get through his community service after he made the dumb decision to try to blow up his friend's car with fireworks--the same friend who stole Michael's girl. Being expelled and losing his best buddy and his girlfriend are the least of his problems: Michael has learned to hide everything, from his sick hoarder mother to the fact that he's stuck living in a 1982 Ford LTD station wagon he calls the Blue Whale. Then one day, during mandatory community service, he meets Shelly, a girl with a past, who's also special enough to unmask Michael's deepest secrets. Can he manage to be worthy of her love, a guy living in a car, unable to return to his chaotic and fit-to-be-condemned home? Shelly won't give up, and tries to peel back the layers of garbage and pain to reveal Michael's immense heart.
In this novel we follow two teenagers struggling to find themselves, fighting off their demons and trying to become someone new and different from what they are supposed to be.
Stuck in sunmer work at school, paying for some past crime of theirs, Michael and Shelly develop a great friendship that may lead to a beautiful love story based on support and trust. Both main characters are going through a hard time and find a little bit of peace when they spend time together, an undeniable attraction that could save them.
The thing with the characters, and what makes this book so wonderful, is that you can easily believe in them, care for them. There is a type of characters I really enjoy, the ones I can develop true feelings for, as if they were real and keeping them safe was my duty. Well, Breakfast With Neruda does have the kind of characters I would like to read about in every single book. They feel tridimensional, much bigger and deeper than a couple names inked on paper and a few characteristics thrown in. Especially Michael, the boy whose family is being torn apart, made my heart tear up.
You see, this novel is light and funny, definitely original... and heartbreaking, too.
There are some literary references here and there, and I happened to enjoy them much more than I was expecting. Well, this whole novel surprised me. I had no expectations at all, but Laura Moe did not fail to steal my breath.
It is true that the beginning was a bit slow and it took me some time to really get into the story, and some things may be rushed and unrealistic, but generally it is a well-paced book with incredible writing style and plot structuring.
Contemporary lovers, this one was made for you all.
Breakfast With Neruda, a story about learning about ourselves and those surrounding us. Impecable friendship, maybe something more. Laura Moe creates a heart-warming story filled with hope, love, friendship and family.
I want to thank Merit Press for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.