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Depeche Mode Said it Well: Just Can’t Get Enough

By M.C.A. Hogarth, author of Earthrise

Mar 31, 2010: Can I say anything better than "I started reading this and didn’t stop until I faceplanted on my keyboard at 1 AM"? Probably not, but I’ll try. This is solid writing: grounded in crunchy detail that indicates research and experience on the part of the author, so that you feel you’re getting a real insider’s view (how can you not appreciate someone who knows about Jon Anderson?). It’s compelling from a character standpoint; teen-narrators can get snarky and one-dimensional, but Tan surrounds the narrator in people of various ages, all believably written, so you can see there’s a world outside Daron’s narrow interpretation. I can’t stress that enough: you can tell the adults in the story are more complex than Daron can understand yet even as he observes their behavior; this is something a lot of people writing teen narrators flub. The period 80’s feel is authentic, the use of 80’s songs as chapter titles clever, appropriate and delightful in that ‘Wow, I’d forgotten about that song!’ way . . . and Daron’s trouble with relationships poignant and deftly evoked: such a great loneliness, conveyed so powerfully and yet without preaching.

This is great work, skillfully written and very human. I’m glad I stumbled onto it.

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