Review – The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie

dylan“‘Oh?’  He cocks his head.  ‘You mean there’s more to the story?’

I nod.  ‘I thought I saw Mom walking out the door so I ran after her.  Only, of course, it was someone else.’

My dad doesn’t say anything, and suddenly I can feel the emptiness in every corner of the room.  Her room.  He places a hand on my shoulder and his Adam’s apple slides up and down.  It’s one of those rare male bonding moments between my dad and me, which frankly, I find embarrassing.  Finally, he says, “Dylan, as you know, I’m not exactly… thrilled about what happened today.  But honestly, you’re such a good kid and, well” – he looks around the room – “you don’t deserve this.”

What my dad means is that I don’t deserve to be motherless, but as usual he dances around the subject.  The funny thing is we’ve never actually spoken about why my mother left.  […]  But I know he misses her.  I know he does.  “But Dad,” I say, “neither do you.”

Dylan Fontaine is a pretty ordinary kid, except for a few things.  His mother just left the family, his brother is in a band and smokes a lot of weed, and he just got busted for shoplifting for underwear.  (Well, the more I think about it, the more ordinary he sounds.)  Those are the catalysts for the story that follows, when Dylan suddenly is the star of his best friend Angie’s summer film project and his brother is getting into more trouble than he can handle.

I liked Dylan, I thought he was a good main character, enough combination of good and riskiness that he was believable.  I think that this book is one that a lot of kids could relate to – the situations Dylan has to deal with are ones that many kids are familiar with.  He’s an incredibly relatable character.

There are moments in this book that will definitely make you smile big cheesy smiles like a moment in the movies that’s just too perfect.  I loved those parts of the book.  There are several scenes like this, and I think you will know which ones I am talking about.  The filming of Angie’s movie, with Dylan the star, really did feel magical and they were probably my favorite parts.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, but it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me.  I did not love it, I did not hate it.  I enjoyed reading it, but it hasn’t really stood the test of time for me.  I’m reviewing this one a lot later than I usually do, so maybe it isn’t entirely fair, but I find myself wishing I remembered more of the story.  I had the hardest time picking out a quote to start with because nothing really jumped out at me.

I think there are a lot of people out there who would not only like this book, but take a lot out of it too.  There were sibling relationships, drugs, divorce – all real things that real kids deal with.  And this book dealt with them realistically.

84% – Not for me, but plenty of people will love this book!

Other reviews:

Stuff As Dreams are Made On
1330V
YAnnabie

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4 thoughts on “Review – The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie

  1. You’re definitely right. There are a lot of cheesy moments in this book. My favorite was when Dylan was playing basketball. Great review.

  2. Thanks for the link to my review too! I agree with your review. The cheesy moments I could handle earlier on in the book, but either they started to wear on me by the end or they were just *too* cheesy for the dramatic wrap-up. But I did still really like it!

    1. Overall I liked it, but there were times when I thought to myself, Yeah right! I still liked them though, and was jealous that the real-world isn’t quite so perfect.

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