Title: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe
Author: Preston Norton
Release Date: May 22, 2018
More information on Goodreads.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Disney Hyperion, for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I was really excited to read this one! Jock and social outcast band together to make their high school a better place? Sign me up! It’s a little more complicated than that though. The jock, Aaron, has a near-death experience and believes that God told him that he needs the help of the social outcast, Cliff aka Neanderthal, to make their high school a better place.
Personally, I found the beginning a little rocky but I do understand why it needed to be that way. We get introduced to the characters and their way of life before Aaron’s accident. The beginning was probably my least favourite part about this book, but it get’s so much better from there!
Almost all of the characters seemed to have some sort of depth and personality to them, even if they were mentioned briefly. It’s a nice change because secondary characters can usually end up being pretty flat and predictable so that was a nice change. I also loved seeing all of the character development, or lack thereof, going on because it made the story feel more real. In real life, people don’t always change when something big happens, so it was nice to have a couple characters who didn’t really change when we would expect them to.
The outcome of this book and how things played out definitely took me by surprise, things did not exactly turn out the way I was expecting, but I liked it better that way because my current issue with most YA is that it is getting pretty predictable. It’s nice being thrown a curve ball once in a while.
I think my most favourite part about this book though is I finally understand, or at least have some knowledge, about what is happening in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is not crucial to see the film before reading this book, and I’m not even sure if I would recommend the movie (it’s really weird), but the movie plays a pretty significant role in this book so the decision is up to you. (I watched the movie a couple years ago, I did not watch it for this book.)
I apologize if this review is pretty vague, I really did not want to spoil anything and I’m almost positive I didn’t. But I HIGHLY recommend this book! It’s not very often that I give a book 5 stars, but this one deserves it. I feel like there is so much good content in this book, so much insight to ingest, that I will probably reread it in the future.