Synopses & Reviews
Filled with wordplay and moments of wry observation and revelation this contemporary coming of age novel follows the trials of a big hearted teen who suffers some hard knocks. The opening sequence depicting a violent brawl between high school senior Cliff Sparks and his father will draw readers in but Cliff quickly admits the incident is a lie. “Do I have your attention? Good.... Nobody wants to explore new lands with an untrustworthy guide. But I’d hate for you to leave so soon after we’ve met” he tells readers. Lubar (Sophomores and Other Oxymorons) goes on to depict more everyday yet heart wrenching examples of Cliff’s victimization by bullies rejections by girls and awkward errors in judgment all while juggling two jobs to replenish his dwindling college fund which his father has dipped into since losing his job. Cliff’s humorous perspective on his predicaments doesn’t lessen their sharp impact and readers will breathe a sigh of relief when Cliff is viewed to be worthy of at least one girl’s love. However contentment is short lived—the novel throws a final strong punch that will warrant a re examination of events to separate fact from fiction. Ages 13–up. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"Character, Driven" is a powerful and hilarious coming-of-age novel for young adults by acclaimed author David Lubar.
With only one year left of high school, seventeen-year-old Cliff Sparks is desperate to find a girlfriend and "come of age." But he's never had much luck with girls. So when he falls for Jillian, a new classmate, at first sight, all he can do is worship her from afar. At the same time, Cliff has to figure out what to do with the rest of his life, since he's pretty sure his unemployed father plans to kick him out of the house the minute he turns eighteen. Time is running out. Cliff is at the edge, on the verge, dangling and holding on for dear life.
"Readers will giggle and guffaw at Lubar s trademark humor, while their heartstrings are tugged and feelings are tied in knots. This exquisitely crafted coming-of-age novel gets down and dirty and even rebellious without sacrificing honesty, thoughtfulness, or respect." "Booklist," starred review
"Readers will relish clever wordplay, fantasies, and a major secret. In a genre full of barely likable teenage protagonists, Cliff is a charmer, and readers will be cheering him on to finally come of age. Cliff is a character driven to fulfill his quest, and readers will be with him every step of the way." "Kirkus Reviews," starred review
"Filled with wordplay and moments of wry observation and revelation, this contemporary coming-of-age-novel follows the trials of a big-hearted teen who suffers some hard knocks. . . . Cliff s humorous perspective on his predicaments doesn t lessen their sharp impact." "Publishers Weekly," starred review
At the center of this hilarious offering is an adorably awkward protagonist. Cliff s first-person and sometimes second-person narration, rendered in an affable, funny, and talkative tone, will suck readers into his life story immediately Cliff breaks the fourth wall often, adding rich layers to this creative work of metafiction. Lubar plays with tropes expertly, crafting a deeply relatable young man whom readers won t soon forget. VERDICT A fascinating and inspired novel for sophisticated readers. "School Library Journal," starred review"