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Review: The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff

The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff
Publication Date: September 1st 2010
Published by Carolrhoda
264 Pages, Hardcover

Source: ARC won from the author

Summary from Goodreads:

"The absolute value of any number, positive or negative, is its distance from zero: -1= 1

Noah, Lily, and Simon have been a trio forever. But as they enter high school, their relationships shift and their world starts to fall apart. Privately, each is dealing with a family crisis—divorce, abuse, and a parent's illness. Yet as they try to escape the pain and reach out for the connections they once counted on, they slip—like soap in a shower. Noah’s got it bad for Lily, but he knows too well Lily sees only Simon. Simon is indifferent, suddenly inscrutable to his friends. All stand alone in their heartache and grief.

In his luminous YA novel, Steve Brezenoff explores the changing value of relationships as the characters realize that the distances between them are far greater than they knew."

My review: **** = 4 Stars

The Absolute Value of -1 shows the reader different points of view from four characters. Three characters perspectives on the same period of time is used throughout the majority of the book whereas the fourth character leads the introduction and then brings about the end of the novel.

Brezenoff did an astounding job with each of his individual characters. To read the same thing occur three times and in such different ways, it was written extremely well. The characters of Noah, Lily and Simon are brutally honest in their own versions of the story. Most likely anyone who reads this can relate in some way to at least one of the characters in the book, wether it be through drug use, abuse, loss of a loved one, friendship, or relationships.

On the outside they seem to be three best friends, but when each p.o.v comes around the reader sees that not only is friendship involved, by love, lust, pain, hurt, fear and multiple other emotions for each of them.

Overall Steve's YA debut is a wonderful book that I am so glad I had a chance to read.

*This book may not be appropriate for younger ages due to the heavy use of language and the use of drugs.

Sherry <3


Anonymous said...

I'm so excited for this one! I love stories with good characterization, and I'm happy to see that |-1| sounds like a good book. Great review!

Eleni @ La Femme Readers said...

Great review, can't wait to read it!

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