I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
Published by Penguin on March 4th 2010
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Buy on Amazon
"A funny and unique debut." (Publishers Weekly).
Sebastian Prendergast lives with his eccentric grandmother in a geodesic dome. His homeschooling has taught him much-but he's learned little about girls, junk food, or loud, angry music.
Then fate casts Sebastian out of the dome, and he finds a different kind of tutor in Jared Whitcomb: a chain-smoking sixteen-year-old heart transplant recipient who teaches him the ways of rebellion. Together they form a punk band and plan to take the local church talent show by storm. But when his grandmother calls him back to the futurist life she has planned for him, he must decide whether to answer the call-or start a future of his own.
Sebastian Prendergast does not get out much. He’s this home schooled kid who lives with his grandmother in a dome. He is also the main character of The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni. Sebastian’s grandmother gets a stroke, which will have the effect of drastically changing his life, as does the introduction of punk rock to his ears.
If you’ve ever been truly moved by music, I absolutely recommend The House Of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni. Music is essentially the driving force behind The House of Tomorrow, as it has the power to shape someone, and to free your soul, I suppose you could say. I loved the raw passion on each and every single page.
The characters are not glamorous. Every single character within The House Of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni was flawed, which I liked. I liked seeing teen boys who swear, mothers who aren’t perfect, eccentric grandmothers, and socially awkward boys. Oh my. I enjoyed the grit.Bognanni paints an interesting dynamic of friendship and family relationships. He shows the individual within Sebastian, and Sebastian’s relation to society. The topic of do we need other people is explored.
Most of all though, The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni is about dirty punk rock. Not the cute Fall Out Boy, Cute Without The E kind, the scary Sex Pistols kind is more like it in this book. I used to fancy myself a fan of punk music when I was in high school, after all, I owned a Dropkick Murpheys shirt and thick black glasses. Alas, I was not a fan of true punk, unless you count rocking out to I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones as being a fan. I don’t. That said, I didn’t feel lost at all while reading The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni. I was somewhat apprehensive, as I thought perhaps this book would be full of hate and anger and scary, but luckily my fears were assailed.
Here’s some quotes I enjoyed from The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni, as the writing style is the kind I enjoy:
“Do you know who Napoleon was?’ he asked.
‘The emperor of France,’ I said.
‘Wrong,’ said Jared. ‘He was the first punk rocker.’
‘He was the emperor of France,’ I said.
‘Death is nothing but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily,’ said Jared. ‘You know who said that?’
‘Yes. And do you know what, Sebastian?’
‘We are dying daily.” -pg 90 ARC
I’m such a history geek. I love the idea of Napoleon being the first punk rocker, I love it.
“Punk song are not about hurt, okay? That’s country. Punk is about anger and not taking any shit, and living how you want to, and catching an awesome buzz from some beers, and being a shit-head, but a great shit-head.” – pg. 191 (ARC)
Hah, so funny, and makes me think of teenagers enjoying the pulse of music, and just being angry about stuff.
The House of Tomorrow contains profanity, references to sex, all sorts of fun things, but that’s never stopped me from reading a book, and I thought it sort of fit. Also, this book is put out by an adult imprint of Putnam, The Amy Einhorn imprint. While this is technically an adult book, the protagonist is a teenager and goes through many teenager things including a search/exploration of identity. I could see this working for the crowd that enjoys Catcher In The Rye, as well as Chuck Palahniuk, as well as High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. It’s not quite YA, but I think older teens would enjoy this book.