Venezuela – When Adam Lacroft Met Death
Guest Post by Tammy Paul
I went into this book having absolutely no idea what to expect. On one hand, it’s a Young Adult novel with a humorous sounding title and back cover blurb. On the other hand, we know from the start that the protagonist is going to die. After reading it, I can say that it exceeded any possible expectations I could have had.
Adam Lacroft is an ordinary teenage boy with what he considers a perfect life. He hates math, but who doesn’t, he gets decent grades, he’s surrounded by hot girls (including his best friend Erica who is a gorgeous curvy redhead), and he has his whole life ahead of him. Or so he thinks…
But after dying in a car accident, he meets Death (a smoking hot tall brunette, who tells him to call her Eve) who says she feels bad that he died, so she offers him a chance to prevent his death. The catch? To do so, he has three days to kill the man who caused his death.
Who is Adam Lacroft?
Adam is a surprisingly deep character considering that on the surface he seems to be a pretty shallow and typical teenager. He recognizes that while he will happily flirt with any girl he deems attractive, he has very definite romantic feelings for his best friend, and within a couple of chapters, he decides to do something about those feelings and finally make his move. Unfortunately, on their way home from their first official date, a drunk driver crashes into them and Adam is instantly killed.
And that’s where things start to get weird for Adam. He wakes up to find himself in a room with a girl in a polka dot dress, who tells him he’s almost dead and that she is Death. She says she has a proposition for him that he has twenty minutes to consider before he actually dies. According to Eve, as she tells him to call her, she feels that his death was unnecessarily tragic. She very much wants to give him his life back, but in return, she needs him to do something for her. He needs to find the man who caused his death and deal with him. And lest he think that it’s enough to find a way to simply prevent the man from crashing into them, Eve makes Adam explicitly tell her what she’s asked him to do. He has to find the man responsible for the car crash and kill him.
I won’t share any more of the plot, because I don’t want to spoil the book, which I highly recommend reading.
Similar to Apocalypse Now Now
As I was reading, I found myself comparing both the writing style and the characters to another of this year’s Sefer HaOmer books, Apocalypse Now Now, by Charlie Human. Both books are written from the perspective of teenage boys (Adam Lacroft here, and Baxter Zevcenko in Apocalypse Now Now), and both have a somewhat sardonic view of life. But while Baxter is full of criticisms about his life, his school, and everyone around him, Adam is full of admiration for all the good in his life. Baxter is the head of a pornography distribution ring at his school and is focused on increasing his distribution abilities, while generally keeping his head down so as not to get killed in a gang fight. Adam is focused on getting decent grades in school so that he can get a decent job after school. He considers this a necessity because it’s needed to provide his other two absolute needs: physical necessities and entertainment.
The two books had such a similar feel to them, and yet were ultimately polar opposites of one another. Apocalypse Now Now is Urban Fantasy, while When Adam Lacroft met Death is more Weird Thriller.
I Want More!
While I very much enjoyed this book, one thing somewhat diminished my enjoyment. The book ends on a cliffhanger. Discovering this, I assumed there would be a sequel. Since I read it on Shabbat, as soon as Shabbat ended, I went online to look for the next book in what I discovered from Yehoshua was supposed to be a trilogy. That was when I discovered the devastating truth.
The author has not yet written the sequel.
I’m guessing the reason is that Carlos Paolini, the author, was only a teenager himself when he wrote When Adam Lacroft met Death. He probably planned to write the second and third books over the years following the first book, then the realities of real-life probably prevented that.
Regardless of the reason, I’m very disappointed not to be able to read the continuation of Adam’s story, and it completely changed my view of the ending.
The book ends on a massive cliffhanger, and since it was written in 2013, the chances of the author ever publishing the sequels seem slim. If I’d known that going in, I might have prepared myself for an unresolved ending. As it was, I was taken by surprise by the ending, and then utterly shocked when I discovered there was no continuation. Sadly that marred my experience with the book a little.
Despite the disappointment of knowing there’s no continuation, I still recommend the book, because it was a delightful read, and I found myself giggling constantly as I read.
About The Author
Carlos Eduardo Del Valle Paolini Carrero was born in Caracas Venezuela, 1994. He’s not related, to his knowledge, to the other writer Christopher Paolini in any way. This is his first novel and it’s awesome.