Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adios, Nirvana by Condrad Wesselhoeft

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:

When you piss off a bridge into a snowstorm, it feels like you’re connecting with eternal things. Paying homage to something or someone. But who? The Druids? Walt Whitman? No, I pay homage to one person only, my brother, my twin. 

In life. In death.

Since the death of his brother, Jonathan’s been losing his grip on reality. Last year’s Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School’s resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He's on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won’t sit back and let him fail.


By the end of the first page, I liked this novel a lot and knew there was a pretty high chance I would enjoy it, and by the end of the first chapter, that chance was inevitable, simply because Adios, Nirvana is a fierce, sparsely told, and stunning debut novel...one of my favorite boy-protagonist novels of the year, if not ever.

Adios, Nirvana is about the everyday life of Jonathon, Seattle's acclaimed, award-winning poet and guitar player. Though, everything is not nearly as sparkly as it appears, as it's been just a few months since the death of Telemachus, Jonathon's effervescent twin brother. With Telemachus gone, Jonathon is lost and this close to giving up on his junior year, life, and, well, just about everything. But with the aide of his school's English teacher and principal, he's put on the path of not failing and loosing it all, instead one that leads him to David, a sickly war veteran. With David, Jonathon is supposed to write a book about his life, earn a few extra dollars, and actually graduate with the rest of his class the following year, but as it turns out, there's more then meets the eye to David and what he'll bring into Jonathon's life.... What it is you may ask? Well, you'll just have to find out in Adios, Nirvana.

Jonathon was a complex main character. One who always had me on the edge of my seat, curious to find what he would do next and why he would do that said choice. At times, I simply adored Jonathon and his sarcastic, tell it like it was attitude, but at other times, all I wanted to do was shake him on the shoulders and remind him that he has so much going for him, and that Telemachus would want him to live his own life not become a shadow in it. Another part of Adios, Nirvana, I enjoyed was the portrayal of the relationships Jonathon shared with the people in it. From his relationship with his mom, who never really seemed like a mom, to the friendship he shared with his thicks (aka friends), to the one he had with Telemachus, to the one he shared with David... all of them were three dimensional and key parts in making the story the incredible, intense thing it was made to be.

While basic and sometimes predictable, the plot of this was pretty darn great overall. I loved the way Condrad expressed Jonathon's grief through Jonathon's poetry and actions, and how those items always made me feel like I was right there with Jonathon during the whole ordeal.

In all, Adios, Nirvana is one of those books that you simply need to check out this fall season, because if you don't, you're seriously messing out on one great contemporary debut! 

Grade: A+

Adios, Nirvana
is now out!

Source: Sent by Publisher. Thanks, HMH!


  1. I have seen this at Netgalley, but thought I wouldn't like it. Wow, now I can see that I was wrong. Great review!

  2. I hadn't seen a review for this book until now. It sounds super fantastic! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

  3. I haven't heard of this book before but I'm definitely going to add this one to my TBR list. Thanks for the review!


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