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Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Tragic Age Blog Tour {review and giveaway}

I am so excited to have The Tragic Age Blog Tour stopping by today with my review of this incredible YA book! Plus, I'm giving away three copies...

The Tragic Age
by Stephen Metcalfe
St. Martin's Griffin
This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college.

Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul. 

With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It's the age he's at.  The tragic age.  

Stephen Metcalfe's brilliant, debut coming-of-age novel, The Tragic Age, will teach you to learn to love, trust and truly be alive in an absurd world.

High school senior, Billy Kinsey, is both all too aware of the world around him and desperate to escape from it. His lottery winning parents’ marriage is more like a war, his beloved twin sister Dorie has died, and his constant insomnia has deprived Billy of dreams to escape to. When two very different, but equally important people- rebel, Twom and optimistic, Gretchen- enter into his life, Billy’s world is forever turned upside down in both quiet and earth shattering ways.

Stephen Metcalfe’s The Tragic Age, is an emotionally raw, unapologetically honest, and fiercely startling coming of age story about life, death, and every amazing, terrifying, fucked up thing in between.

I’ve come to find that many YA contemporaries, with their grand gestures; poetic metaphors; and emotionally manipulative premises, try too hard to be poignant or meaningful or clever or simply unforgettable...I don’t think this is one of those novels. The writing in The Tragic Age is straightforward and isn’t trying to be anything other than what it is. When it’s smart, it’s smart, when it’s funny, it’s funny, when it’s profound, it’s profound, and so on. Yes, it’s full of drama and sex and teenage life and a myriad of other things that can be found in countless YA Contemps. And no, it isn’t ground-breaking or staggeringly new. This novel simply is what it is, and what it is is an utterly engrossing, believable exploration of life that is, at turns, both laugh at loud funny and achingly heartbreaking; unabashedly intimate and cooly aloof. Through Billy’s social commentary and inner reflections, Metcalfe explores a wide range of topics, from sexuality; materialism; depression; love; bullying; to suicide, and does so in realistic, thought-provoking ways.

Metcalfe has cleverly filled his book with characters, that on the surface seem almost stereotypical and cliche (the thoughtful loner, bad boy rebel, hot promiscuous chick, gorgeous girl next door, bullied nerd, douchey joke, etc), but have been given a breathtaking amount of depth and dimension. And I love how these characters aren’t likable in the predictable ways; in fact, most of the characters can be down-right unlikable at times. But they are impossible to turn away from and captivating in their tragic flaws.

My Final Thoughts: A brutally beautiful novel, The Tragic Age took me on a stunning, unexpected journey that made me feel ALL the things! This book will stay with me for a very long time.

5/5 yummy cupcakes

  • STEPHEN METCALFE wrote the production drafts for Pretty Woman, Dangerous Minds and Mr. Holland's Opus, among others. His stage plays have been produced in New York and at theaters throughout the US, Europe and Japan. He is an Associate Artist at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and has been an adjunct professor in dramatic writing at University of California at San Diego, University of San Diego and San Diego State University.The Tragic Age is his debut novel.

Win 1 of 3 copies of The Tragic Age!
Thanks to St.Martin's Griffin, I have three copies of this excellent book for three winners.
-US and CAN only
-ends 3/1/15
-must be 13+ to enter
-winners will each get one book and be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
fill out the form:

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Linda Romer said...

The Tragic Age sounds like a great story. I would love to read this book. Thank you

Carl Scott said...

This sounds really good, just the kind of book people have been waiting for. I like the characters already, bring 'em on.

Unknown said...

This looks like such a good story!