Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review: The Domino Effect by Andrew Cotto

Young Adult-Coming of Age

The Domino Effect is the story of Danny Rorro, a charismatic kid from Queens poisoned by the past. A series of painful defeats have left him scarred and isolated from his neighborhood, his parents, and, most significantly, the benevolent ways of his childhood when he was known as “Domino.” With great insight, imagery and wit, Danny recalls his past in Queens and his coming-of-age at Hamden Academy. This fast paced and powerful story is rich with conflict, humor, tenderness and music—just like life, especially when coming-of-age.

Source: Received the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Did not receive any payment for review.

 My Review

This story takes place in the 90's. Danny's childhood wasn't all fun and games. His father always taught Danny to be the bigger person when it comes to acceptance. Danny, aka Domino, was dealt a bad hand when he tried to include the new arrivals at his school. He lived in a predominately Italian neighborhood and there was an influx of Spanish families moving in. The neighborhood wasn't as accepting of the new kids and caused some problems with Danny that lead to his downward spiral. His parents think it wise to move from the neighbor and start fresh elsewhere. Fast-forward two years... Danny starts school at a boarding school in New Jersey. (WOOOO JERSEY!!) Sorry, had to show my Jersey pride there. During his time at Hamden, Danny will have his heart broken, fall in love and come into his own skin.

I was really surprised with this book. Danny's behavior was childish and he seemed a bit stubborn. But then I remembered what it was like to be a teenager. Danny really transforms himself by the end of the book. It was incredibly moving and downright hilarious at times. It really made me feel like I knew Danny. It all makes perfect sense in the end and the cover is a nice touch. I always enjoy when the cover has something to do with the book. This is definitely a great read for teens but I'm not sure how relatable it would be to them. Again, I grew up in the 90's so this felt like home to me. Definitely recommend.