Notes from the Midnight Driver is a young adult fiction by Jordan Sonrenblick that teaches a boy named Alex about responsibility from an old man named Sol. One night Alex got drunk, took his moms car, trying to go to his dad’s house, and crashed into a gnome. He had a major punishment and it was 100 hours of community service working at an old folk’s home taking care of a mean man named Sol, who is sick with emphysema. Laurie is a karate butt kicking girl who is Alex’s best friend, but is a lot like Sol. As Alex and Sol get to know each other, they realize they have a lot in common. They both love to play the guitar and listen to jazz music. As Alex is practicing his guitar skills with Sol, they decide to have a concert together. The story goes on, and everyone realizes that they should love while they can and forgive easily.
The themes that this novel shares is responsibility and family problems, of which Alex has both. He doesn’t have an easy life, but it looks easy to other characters. Young adults would benefit from these lessons, because they get an opportunity to read about other people’s lives, and realize that they are not alone with the obstacle they face. I think the author wrote this book to give a life lesson, and entertain teens and young adults.
The narrator writes in first person. The main character is Alex, and everything is in his perspective. The titles of the chapters give you a clue what the chapter is about. Sometimes its sarcasm, while other times it’s completely honest. As the story goes on, the characters develop slowly by their behavior, the dialog, and the description of each individual. The words the author uses are hard to follow. Sol is a Jew and speaks Yiddish when he yells at Alex. Other times the novel is easy to follow and understand. Kids talk like kids while adults talk like adults.
I liked a lot about the book. Instead of it starting slow and uninteresting, there was action that caught my attention right away! I liked the characters too, because teens and young adults can relate to them and their situations. This novel made me think about my family problems that I face, and how much responsibility I have. It also makes me realize that others have the same problems I have too. At first the story was kind of confusing to me, but after I got more into the book, the more I understood and liked it. Once I started reading, it was hard to stop. I think a lot of people should read this book, because it can help a lot of young adults through tough situations. It also makes everyone realize things will get better, and everything will be okay.
Book Reviewed by Alizabeth Roller
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