Josh Paquette and Khadijah Silverglate-Dunn are two fifteen year old kids living in the 1990’s. Josh’s father and Khadijah’s mother are having an affair and because of this, the two teens vow never to cheat on anyone for the rest of their lives. Later, when Josh and Khadijah are in their twenties and meet again after a long time apart, they are each engaged to other people and have a difficult time keeping true to their childhood vows to one another once the spark is re-ignited and they find themselves becoming entangled with one another.
Benjamin Nugent, author of American Nerd, has crafted a mostly-effective tale which is part dramedy and part coming-of-age that will have you re-living your childhood if you’re a nineties kid and even if you’re not, it will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever tried to forge their own adult life and deal with the sea of complex nuances that come with it.
Nugent’s writing is pretty solid and had me laughing out loud and sharing passages (one involving a cock ring of all things) with people I was on a road trip with. If I had any complaints it would be that for some reason, the latter half of the book didn’t really contain the same punch as the beginning half. The book was pretty short and seemed almost more of a novella, so I think it could have been drawn out a little longer to wrap things up more neatly.
Still, if you’re a fan of Baumbach films, this book would be for you. It has that same sort of feel that you get when you watch The Squid And The Whale or The Life Aquatic.
Check it out.
JOE Rating: ★★★★