The Tragedy of Dane Riley is a great coming of age story in the vein of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Dane is a senior in high school who is feeling lost, his father has recently passed away, his mother is now dating his father’s best friend and he’s in a new school. He is every kid with teen angst but his has been tripled due to crippling grief and life instability. This book will make you feel so many emotions. There were pages where I wanted to shake him, passages where I wanted to smack him and chapters upon chapters where I just wanted to hug him and tell him everything was going to be ok.
Dane struggles with communication issues, in his mind he is so profound and his feelings are so deep but what comes out when he tries to communicate he just never quite gets his meaning across. This leads to a lot of conflict with his mother, her boyfriend and his son. He is slightly better with his friends who understand the teen angst and who are trying to understand his grief. We see him as he has some breakthroughs with his therapist and how they translate through to his day to day interactions and his sense of purpose and future.
His most revealing relationship is with his beautiful next door neighbor who he worships and begins to teach him, not everything is what it seems on the surface. She teaches Dane that it’s ok to be open and sensitive but that you also need to be aware that others may be having their own battles and you should be sensitive of that too.
Just a lovely story with some profound coming of age lessons. I especially adored the reveal of who was communicating with him via his late father’s cell phone. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This one is out today so check it out!
Thanks to St Martin’s Press for access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
What’s the best piece of advice you wish you could give yourself back when you were a teenager?