"Whether the action is comedic, tragic, uplifting, or foreboding, the reader always feels they are in an entirely familiar world, one tied together by love and our shared human condition": Mary Ann McGuigan, National Book Award Finalist for Where You Belong.
"As Colicchio's tale begins, brothers Alex Moore, 22, and Tommy Moore, 17, are poised on the brink of intriguing summer adventures. . . . Colicchio has a sharp ear for dialogue and knowingly fills his work with it. He is a natural storyteller. An engagingly heartfelt . . . pair of coming-of-age stories": Kirkus Reviews
"Colicchio is exquisitely talented at giving us characters who are real, in voice, in description, and in their quirky behaviors. Really a superb book": Mary Jane Nealon, Bread Loaf Bakeless Prize winner for Beautiful Unbroken.
July 1, 2008
At first Tommy called it a promise. A few days later he called it a plan. His plan became an intention, and, the night before his brother’s leaving, when Alex asked if he’d be getting up to see him off, “That’s my expectation,” Tommy said. By bedtime, expectation was a mere hope, a fading one at that, all but a lie.
Alex grabbed his brother’s ankles and tugged. Tommy jerked awake, but after that initial twitch he didn’t even turn, just rearranged his bent arms and shifted his head from one side to the other, to face the wall.
“Sorry, not happening. Have a safe trip.”
“Take care of mom.”
“I will. Call me later.”
The horn honked outside 46 Clifton Place, Weehawken, New Jersey, and at 7:15, Alex and his friend Billy were heading west, way west, into and across these United States. Tommy, a week beyond his 17th birthday, rolled onto his back, hands clasped behind his head. He turned again, back onto his belly, and slithered off the bed, spilling onto the floor before pushing himself upright and staggering to the bathroom. An hour later, dismally, he was on a forced march back to the high school, there to set up a summer internship.
Why was Tommy stuck doing this internship thing? Because Collins is an idiot, that’s why. And, because of Tommy’s own stubborn denial of the possibility that one could actually flunk a course entitled “Introduction to Life Skills.” Tommy’s summer internship would suck, but all Life Skills Internships sucked and his actually wasn’t as bad as most. In previous years, kids had been stuck working in a converted trailer in a puddled corner of the county, tending to the homeless or crippled or otherwise afflicted; or watching after Special Needs adults who, on day trips, loved nothing more than to run through the aisles of Walmart, to run through the quiet halls of the museum, to run at the red and wait on the green. Things could be worse than spending leisurely days at an old folks’ home.