"And as long as the world spins on, we can still dance. No matter who we are, we can always dance."
-Aaron Starmer, Spontaneous
Imagine your senior year, saying goodbye to all of your friends, not knowing when you'll see them again--but then add in the suspense of not knowing who will actually make it through senior year. This becomes reality for Mara Carlyle when her fellow classmates begin to spontaneously combust, quickly drawing national attention. But Mara isn't going to let the impending doom of spontaneous combustion get her down. She lives her senior year to the fullest, falling in love, attending crazy parties, and organizing events so she gets to experience her senior year like every other senior in the country.
I first heard about this book when John Green posted about it on Facebook, and it sounded hilarious and fantastic, and out of the box from what I've been reading lately. I was definitely not disappointed; I was drawn into Mara's narration right from the beginning. She's funny and witty and wildly sarcastic. Maybe she's not always likable, but you can always count on her to be honest and real. The story itself is unique and not something I've seen done before, and it was refreshing to read. The narration sucks you into the suspense of wondering who is going to combust next, and it's that aspect that really drives the plot forward.
However. Yes, there is a "however." Towards the end of the novel, some of the plot seems to fall apart, probably about the last 50ish pages or so. Mara goes off the deep end, and the explanations for the spontaneous combustion just get more and more ridiculous, in my opinion. I'm not sure how I wanted this novel to end, but it just kind of--ended. Normally, I'm a fan of open-ended stories, because it makes you continue to think about the story once it's finished, but this one just felt unfinished, leaving me confused more than anything else. I just wanted a bit more, and I wanted Mara to remain true to her character until the very end.
Despite the plot failings at the end, I still really enjoyed this book, and if you're looking for a fun, humorous read, definitely pick this one up!