Californium by R Dean Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reece is a teenager living in California in the 1980s. Not only is he a freshman in a new school, but his whole family moved from New Jersey to California. It is up to Reece and the friends he makes to begin understanding who he is and where he wants to go next, and how he can get over missing his beloved Uncle Ryan. In Californium the clock is turned back—readers are dropped into the high school life where you're going to be put in a box: are you a jock, a nerd, a punk or what? The decisions Reece makes will help him determine just who he is to his friends, his family and himself.
This is a classic coming-of-age story, but it also provides a lot of elements of how family dynamics can change when kids get older and move on to new interests. I liked the book overall, even if the secondary plot of Reece's relationship with Uncle Ryan is predictable instead of surprising.
*Received a copy of this book through Penguin First to Read
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