Review: 12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn by James Proimos

May 13, 2012

Hardcover, 128 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Roaring Brook Press

Glasses: 3.7 

It’s Wes Anderson meets Holden Caufield in this wry and funny novel about a boy who is sent to live with his uncle when his father (a bestselling self-help author) dies.
James “Hercules” Martino has until the end of the summer (a.k.a. two weeks) to accomplish the twelve tasks given to him by his Uncle Anthony. The tasks will take him to the far reaches of Baltimore, lead him to a Beautiful and Unattainable Women, and change the way he sees his past, present and future.
My Thoughts:
When Hercules goes to stay with his Uncle till the end of the summer after his famous father dies he's given a list of things to do: twelve things to do before you crash and burn. The list includes things like read a book under a tree to apply for seven jobs.
But what made this book stand out was its length.

It's short. Like really short.

I read it in about half and hour and I really enjoyed it. Because the fonts so large and the chapters are so short the story really gets to the point. There are no super detailed descriptions or unbelievably complicated plots, it just is. The story has this poetic quality that I really liked (at one point he even goes to a poetry reading). His Uncle, one of the meanest and heartfelt men in his life, is a great contrast for the flash backs Hercules has of his dad.

The story is a short bundle of wittiness that I can guarantee will have you hooked. I promise that by the first chapter you will either be smiling or somewhat slightly appalled (but most likely the first one.)


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