Thanks for Tommy Wallach

Thanks For The Trouble
Written by Tommy Wallach
Contemporary, Coming of Age, Romance
Expected Publication March 1st 2016
384 Pages
Thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia via Netgalley
Add to Goodreads
★★★★★
"Was this story written about me?"
I shrugged.
"Yes or no?"
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.
"It's very rude not to answer simple questions," she said.
I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.
I can't, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don't you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn't spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching (and sometimes stealing from) the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he'll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.
Parker Santé sits in the lobby of the Palace Hotel, watching the elite go about their day and waiting for the prime opportunity to take advantage of an untended bag or in this case, a purse. Zelda is eating alone, sadness etched upon her beautiful features and at odds with her mane of silver hair. She's carrying a stack of crisp notes that Parker now has his eye on, writing in his journal while waiting for her to leave. But his snatch and grab isn't as simple as he thought. He has a stack of cash, but has left his journal behind. With his name and address inside the cover.

Parker hasn't spoken a word in over five years and communicates through his journal, having been diagnosed with Psychogenic Aphonia and losing the ability to speak after his father passed away. Zelda happened upon the hotel to wait for a phone call, a call that may possibly end her life. She lives for the promise of giving away what money remains and freeing herself by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. In an act of kindness, she decides that Parker will be the recipient of her small fortune, spending it together under the guise that Parker won't squander his life away and will apply to college to perfect his writing ability.

Zelda plans to have the ultimate teenage experience, shopping, parties and liberating Parker from his own life. A boy who chooses not to live and a young woman who is ready to die, sometimes all we have is one another and believing that anything is possible.

Kelly's Thoughts

Thanks For The Trouble is absolutely lovely, cynical and sarcastic, but so wonderfully written and emotional. Written in the same vein as John Green, it tells the story of Parker who hasn't spoken for over five years since his father passed away. He'll do just about anything to avoid school, where he feels misunderstood and his silence is taken as a sign of antisocialism. From the moment they'd first met, Parker and Zelda form an instant attraction. He has segregated himself from his peers, while Zelda has lost her zest for life. Together they'll rediscover that life is truly worth living through one remarkable weekend.

"Young people feel things so deeply, don't they?" she said quietly, almost to herself. "Everything's happening for the first time."

Zelda was an incredible character. Wise beyond her seemingly teen years, she's cultured, intelligent and speaks with an old Hollywood grace that charms those in her presence. Loaded with a bundle of cash and awaiting a phone call that will change her life before she takes her own, she is determined to share in a typical teen experience of shopping, partying and discovering the world again through Parker. Magical and whimsical, Zelda is one of the most selfless characters you'll ever have the pleasure of reading. Although she and Parker are worlds apart, I loved the bizarre yet tentative friendship they shared, which sadly felt a little more like a dependency than a romantic connection. The romance wasn't particularly needed, but nor did it take away from the magic that was Thanks For The Trouble.

There is something incredible realistic about the characters Tommy Wallach creates, they're flawed, often insecure but most importantly, readers can relate to them on some level. Parker chooses not to speak and deals with his own grief internally. He's not looking to be rescued and certainly isn't looking for a whirlwind romance but is enamored by Zelda and her tall tales. It was lovely and woven with a touch of whimsy, completely unexpected but incredible nonetheless.

The final verdict

Beautifully written, honest and enchanting, Thanks For The Trouble was an engaging and immersive read. Buy it, read it and love it.

34 comments

  1. I can't wait to read this one!! I really enjoyed We All Looked Up, so I was super excited to hear Tommy Wallach was releasing another book. I really like the idea, and the spine is really pretty too. I hope to get to this soon! :D

    Denise | The Bibliolater

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    1. Me too Denise and this was such an incredible read. I can't wait to see what you think of it.

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  2. This sounds like a really good read! I keep hearing about it but yours is the first review I've actually seen. I need to check this one out!

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    1. It's so lovely Lauren and beautifully written as well. I can almost guarantee you'll adore this one too.

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  3. My kind of read! My list of books to get this week just got bigger. Lol.

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    1. I think it'll appeal to a much wider audience too Joy. But there is a bit of a twist thrown in and looking forward to seeing what you make of it. Readers seem to be on the fence about it so far.

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  4. I really want to read this one and reading your review has convinced me even more! So glad you liked this one, great review!!

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    1. Thanks Eva. It's an amazing read and hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

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  5. I've been hanging out for this books since I first heard about it. Better get off my butt and get myself a copy :-) :-)

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    1. You really need this book in your life Sarah, it's amazing!

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  6. Ahhh, I had such trouble with this one. XD WHAT GENRE IS IT SUPPOSED TO BE?! I ENDED UP SO CONFUSED. Wah. But Parker was amazing and adorable and much love for Parker. <3

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    1. I think it might be in the interpretation. I was torn between being cynical of Zelda and wondering if it was used as a metaphor for readers to believe in the more of our world. It's a massive talking point and I'll be looking out for what others think of that ending too.

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  7. Wow this is really just making me want to pick up his book: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. I think that's what I'm going to do!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

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    1. I loved that one too Alex and I seen on Instagram that you bought a copy and giving it a read. I can't wait to see what you think of it. We All Looked Up reminded me of an apocalyptic breakfast club.

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  8. We All Looked Up turned me off from this author, (a few passages I read online didn't represent POC very well) but girl this review is definitely making me want to suck it up and give Tommy boy a chance. Everything about this book just screams me, so I'm adding it to my TBR asap!

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    1. I've seen the debate on Twitter about that actually. I didn't find that actually while I was reading it. I think taking snippets out of context from any book or even a conversation with someone can't really give you the full picture. I would love for you to read We All Looked Up and see what you think about it.

      I'll start nagging you on Hangouts now.

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  9. It'll be VERY INTERESTING to read this because the older I get, the more I feel like I'm growing away from John Green's style of writing. BUT ANYWAY. I do love Tommy Wallach - We All Looked Up was one of my fave 2015 books :)

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    1. I found it much more mature than John Green, but in the same type of vain. Quirky, playful and adventurous. But you'll find that Zelda's character has a bit of the manic pixie in her, but thankfully that's where the similarities end. It was incredible.

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  10. Totally agree! I loved this so, so much. I want to read We All Looked Up, because I ummm pre ordered it. But then you know, life and such. But yes, I adored the writing and the characters so much. I really didn't expect to love it as much as I did but then.. well you know hahha. Fabulous review, I am so glad you enjoyed it too!

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    1. Just wait until yo read We All Looked Up Shannon, it's an apocalyptic Breakfast Club and like nothing you've read before. Put life down and pick it up Shannon, you definitely won't be disappointed.

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  11. Darn it, Kelly! I wasn't sure this one would be for me, but now I most definitely NEED the book in my life. I love quirky characters in books and I especially like intelligent, charming girls in YA. And flawed characters are always great to read about. Their friendship sounds great too though I hope the unnecessary romance doesn't bother me too much. I'm glad you loved this, Kelly!
    Beautiful review! :)

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    1. This book is for Nick, It's absolutely magnificent and if you enjoy strong female personalities, quirky characters and adventure, then you'll adore this one too.

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  12. I haven't read this book, I just wanted to come on here and say that I love the design of YOUR blog! That header image, omg, in love <3

    Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

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    1. Awwm thanks Molly. I really appreciate your kind words. We love it too.

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  13. This book sounds fantastic! although, from what I've gathered reading your review it seems like their friendship doesn't take off into something more serious (romantically) which is kind of a bummer because I would have loved to see that! it's neat to see a book that doesn't focus on that though and depicts boys/girls having friendships without the complications of love thrown in

    I just wanted to say I REALLY enjoyed reading your review! I'll be honest and say often times when I'm reading reviews i tune out halfway through or don't intend to read the entire thing but your writing is gorgeous! thanks for describing this books so well! your writing truly is fantastic and I love you review style!

    Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

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    1. Thank you so much Emily, your comment is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. I appreciate your kind words so, so much.

      There is a bit of a whirlwind romance thrown in, but is more a bond and connection between the characters who need someone at that moment in their lives, rather than love. It's such a beautiful and enchanting read, I can't wait to see what you think of it.

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  14. I keep meaning to order a copy of this and then I forget *facepalm* soon though I shall have a copy in my hands! I love Wallach's writing *sigh*

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    1. So do I Wattle. This is a little more John Green than John Hughes though, but brilliantly written. Zelda is so enchanting, just wait until you meet her.

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  15. I didn't realize he had another book out. I've bee meaning to read something by him and this seems like a good place to start.


    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. He's wonderful Karen. His debut We All Looked Up is one of my favourite young adult reads and has made Tommy leap onto my automatic to buy list.

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  16. I've heard so much about this one OMFG KELLY STOP RECOMMENDING ME BOOKS I WANT SO BADLY WHEN I HAVE LIKE NO MONEY TO BUY NEW BOOKS. All the tears are coming from me.

    Writing quirky characters can be quite difficult without foraying into the manic pixie dream girl territory. I'm so glad to hear that isn't the case and despite it seeming John Green-esque (not a huge fan of Mr.Green and his writing, I will not lie) I'm happy it comes across and more mature and less pretentious. John Green's characters also do come across as really unrealistic to me so hearing that the characters in Thanks For Tommy Wallach are most definitely realistic, honest and raw??? Ugh omg Kells. I want to discover these characters and the magical bond that grows throughout this novel for myself.

    Wonderful review! It makes me also want to check out Wallach's debut novel too (:

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    1. I like the concept of the manic pixie dream girl, but John Green has sadly associated it with horrid connotations. But it goes to show in the right authors hands, it can really work. His debut We All Looked Up is very Breakfast Club meets apocalyptic doomsday. It was absolutely incredible.

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  17. I actually started reading this book on camp and it was certainly a very good companion when I was sitting in my cramped tent with a torch, reading in the freezing cold with a tiny torch that illuminated a tiny portion of the page. I swear my mind woke myself up early to get this book done, and I nearly am. Definitely need to read more, and I'm so glad you liked it!

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  18. Beautiful review, Kelly! Lovely, cynical and sarcastic? Wonderfully written and emotional? honest and enchanting? I think I’ll give this book a try. Have you read Tommy Wallach’s first book, We All Looked Up? I haven’t, it's on my tbr-list.

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