Parents' Guide to


By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Wickedly funny, foul-mouthed look at love and loss.

Spontaneous Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (2):

"Sieze the day" takes on new meaning in this twisted tale of high school seniors exploding unpredictably, leaving bloody body parts in their wake and triggering shock waves of fatalistic behavior. Mara, the self-centered, wry narrator of Spontaneous, reacts to the disaster around with a mix of freeing, adolescent pleasure-seeking and aggressively self-destructive behavior. Fear, guilt, excitement, and anger create a toxic brew.

Worried parents, concerned teachers, an FBI agent, and other adults want to help the unmoored students but are at a loss, unable to provide real aid or wise guidance. So the teens are abandoned to do as they see fit -- including serving alcohol at prom and taking drugs during sparsely attended classes. Some plot threads show more promise than they deliver and the ending offers no neat resolutions, muddying the book's message. But such is life.

Book Details

  • Author: Aaron Starmer
  • Genre: Coming of Age
  • Topics: Friendship, High School
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Dutton Books
  • Publication date: August 23, 2016
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: July 13, 2017

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