Special Topics in Calamity Physics should have been cataloged as a YA book. It might have appealed to a clever teenager. The book reads the way a teenager talks with endless paragraphs of non-sense ranting. I like a little mystery in my novels and a few quirks in writing, but trendy writing with endless gimmicks is annoying. This book reminds me of the movie Heathers or any other teen movie from the 1980s.
We’re supposed to believe that Blue van Meer is intelligent enough to be valedictorian and secure a place at Harvard, but she’s too stupid to navigate the world of Blueblood snobs. Add in her pretentious, obnoxious father (no, wait-that’s every character) and you’re in for an extremely boring read.
By part two, I stopped reading anything in parentheses. By part three, I read only the dialog and the first and last sentence of each paragraph. Didn’t miss a thing, still got the gist of the story. The mystery was more what’s going on than actual who did it. The worst part was waiting for Blue to catch up to what I already figured out. It made for very tedious reading.
I finished three other books while slogging my way through Calamity. All I can think is, “There goes several hours of my life I’ll never get back.”