Author: Aaron Starmer
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Starmer
Synopsis: Mara Carlyle’s senior year at Covington High in suburban New Jersey is going on as normally as could be expected, until the day—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc. Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last senior to spontaneously combust without warning or explanation. The body count grows and the search is on for a reason—Terrorism! Drugs! Homosexuality! Government conspiracy!—while the seniors continue to pop like balloons.
Review: I wanted to like this book. It was an interesting (?) concept, but ultimately fell flat. If you’re into dark humor, you’ll definitely find some moments funny/laugh out loud worthy. The book itself isn’t bad, but the frustrating part of me was you get to the end of the book and there’s no explanation as to why the seniors are spontaneously combusting. There are tons of theories, most which are found false, but no actual reason. So, I was left with way more questions than answers. Why only the seniors? Will it stop when they graduate? Will the incoming seniors face the same fate? UGH. I will also say that this was a book club selection and most of the teens felt the same way. They were basically disappointed in the book/wanted more.