Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to Lose Everything: A Mostly True Story, by Philipp Mattheis

Barnes & Noble

One summer, an incredible discovery gives Jonathan and his three closest friends many things they so desperately want – but at what cost?

Jonathan, Sam, Schulz, and Eric usually spend their summers hanging out at the park, skateboarding and dreaming about the days when they’ll finally move out of the suburbs.
But one summer, the four teenagers find a small fortune hidden inside a mysterious abandoned house, and that changes everything. The dizzying thrill of money and power makes the future seem irrelevant; the only question that matters is what they should buy next. It was a dream come true, but it couldn't last. What starts out as a blessing soon turns into a curse, as stress, drugs, criminal behavior, dwindling funds—and even death—raise serious questions about their choices, and their futures.

This coming-of-age novel is like nothing I've read before.  Due to the fact that it's based on a true story, I couldn't decide if I wanted it to be more memoir-ish or more fictitious.  I don't mean that in a negative way.  It's simply the fact that it scares the bejeezus out of me that much of what's in this book actually happened.  And I don't know which parts!

How to Lose Everything will appeal to teenage boys.  I think this would be a great book for parents of early- to mid-teens to read with their sons in order to launch discussions surrounding theft and drug & alcohol abuse.

I read this short book—only just over 200 pages—in one evening.  Mattheis doesn't use flowery language to move the story forward: he is concise and pragmatic and doesn't leave out any of the "good stuff."

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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