“I’ve got some questions for you. Was this story written about me?”
“Yes or no?”
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty. It brought a bloom to her pale cheeks and made sharp shelves of her cheekbones.
“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote I can’t on my palm.
Then, in tiny letters below it, I finished the thought: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?
Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Strong language; Mild sexual themes; Underage drinking
Booklist (December 1, 2015 (Vol. 112, No. 7))
Grades 9-12. Best-selling author Wallach’s sophomore effort puts an atypical twist on the standard boy-meets-girl equation. Skipping school on Halloween, mute high-school senior Parker Santé meets silver-haired Zelda Toth at the luxurious Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Zelda totes a stack of $100 bills, claims to be immortal, and plans to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. The two make a deal: she’ll spend her money on Parker as long as he promises to apply to and attend college. What follows is an adventurous, epiphany-filled three days that test their handshake agreement. Although Wallach’s zippy writing is terrifically clever, “dumb, not stupid” Parker’s musings do not always cohere completely into a story. Zelda’s manic-pixie-dream-girl qualities become especially exaggerated by Parker’s seeming ease with her eventual decision. Still, Wallach offers much for teen readers to ponder: immortality, the future, how we make peace with the death of loved ones, and the choices we make with the time we have on this earth.
Horn Book Magazine (January/February, 2016)
Two introspective teens — one silent and one possibly immortal — share a life- changing weekend in this contemporary, fantastical romance. Parker Sante, seventeen, has psychogenic aphonia; he stopped talking after his father died five years ago. He resists treatment and communicates via notebook, deliberately distancing himself from his peers and his future. Then he meets Zelda — a mysterious, silver-haired girl who says she’s lived for centuries. She’s on her way to finally end it all by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, but first she invites Parker to help spend her life savings; smitten, he accepts. Parker recounts their adventures with a whip-smart, sardonic narrative voice in this fast-paced romp around an atmospheric San Francisco, interspersed with Parker’s fantasy short stories and sustained by a steady course of philosophic (and flirtatious) banter. While Parker tries to unravel the truth about Zelda’s wild claim, Zelda is on a mission to help Parker shed his apathy so he can enjoy the pleasures life has to offer. A romantic wish-fulfillment fantasy? Absolutely, but the pair’s ample chemistry and illuminating conversations about what makes life worth living make both their fast-burning romance and Parker’s eventual transformation feel organic and well earned. jessica tackett macdonald
About the Author
Tommy Wallach is a novelist, screenwriter, and musician from Seattle, WA. He currently lives in Brooklyn, like everybody else. His first novel, “We All Looked Up,” is a NYTimes bestseller, the rights for which have sold in over a dozen countries. His second novel is “Thanks for the Trouble,” which Tommy adapted for film under the aegis of Anonymous Content (Spotlight, Revenant, Mr. Robot).
Tommy is also a musician, and has recorded with Decca Records and performed at the Guggenheim Museum. He released a full-length companion album of original songs to go with his first novel, which is available wherever fine music is sold (i.e. the internet).
His website is www.tommywallach.com.
Around the Web
Thanks for the Trouble on Amazon
Thanks for the Trouble on JLG
Thanks for the Trouble on Goodreads