Summary and book reviews of Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

Thanks for the Trouble

by Tommy Wallach

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2016, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2017, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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About this Book

Book Summary

Tommy Wallach, the New York Times bestselling author of the "stunning debut" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) We All Looked Up, delivers a brilliant new novel about a young man who overcomes a crippling loss and finds the courage to live after meeting an enigmatic girl.

"Was this story written about me?"
I shrugged.
"Yes or no?"
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.
"It's very rude not to answer simple questions," she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn't give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.
I can't, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don't you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn't spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he'll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

From the celebrated author of We All Looked Up comes a unique story of first and last loves.

THIRD PERSON FAIL

THE BOY SAT ON A bench in the lobby of the Palace Hotel. It was about eight thirty in the morning, and he was supposed to be at school. But the boy had always thought it was a load of BS that you were expected to go to school on Halloween, so he'd decided not to. Maybe he'd go later. Maybe not. At this stage, it didn't really make much of a difference either way.

The boy noticed he was drawing more attention than he usually did. He'd been to the Palace plenty of times before, but this was the first time he'd shown up on a weekday, and the place wasn't busy enough for someone like him to go unremarked. He was dressed in dirty jeans and an old black T-shirt, and his hair was long and probably a mess (full disclosure: he hadn't looked in the mirror before leaving the house that morning). Also, he was Latino, which made him one of the very few Latino people in the building who wasn't there to bring room service to or clean up the ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Tommy Wallach is a young writer who’s not afraid to tackle big issues of life and death. His debut novel, We All Looked Up, focused on a group of teenagers doing normal teenage things while confronting their own mortality, in the form of an asteroid hurtling toward Earth. Now, in Thanks for the Trouble, Wallach offers another thoughtful novel that deals with issues of (im)mortality, loss, and change, all tinted with humor and a hint of magic.   (Reviewed by Norah Piehl).

Full Review (525 words).

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Booklist

Although Wallach's zippy writing is terrifically clever, "dumb, not stupid" Parker's musings do not always cohere completely into a story. Zelda's manic-pixie-dream-girl qualities become especially exaggerated by Parker's seeming ease with her eventual decision. Still, Wallach offers much for teen readers to ponder: immortality, the future, how we make peace with the death of loved ones, and the choices we make with the time we have on this earth.

VOYA

This novel is a good read-alike for John Green fans.

The Horn Book

Organic and well earned.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Wallach delivers well-rounded, witty characters—all contemplating whether living a full life is better than living a long one. Bittersweet moments intersect with the intricate fairy tales Parker writes, compelling readers to judge what is real and what is make-believe.

School Library Journal

Starred Review. A unique and compelling tale. The narrator's hilariously crass but poignant voice is sure to intrigue even the most reluctant of readers. Grade 9 and up.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. An absorbing coming-of-age narrative about the power of connection.

Reader Reviews

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San Francisco's Palace Hotel

Palace HotelOne of the special things about Thanks for the Trouble is its strong sense of place, utilizing several San Francisco landmarks and other locales as a backdrop for Parker and Zelda's story. One of the most important settings is the historic Palace Hotel, which is where the novel opens and which also plays a pivotal role later.

1875 Palace HotelOriginally built in 1875, the Palace Hotel is San Francisco's oldest hotel. It was built near the end of the storied career of its investor, William Chapman Ralston, a banker who made his fortune during the Gold Rush. Designed by New York architect John P. Gaynor and costing five million dollars to build (the equivalent of 100 million dollars today), the hotel was the epitome of luxury, boasting ...

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