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The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April…
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The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine

by April Lurie

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Showing 5 of 5
It’s a funny read, and really interesting, the main character has a great voice and it’s a super-fast read. I picked this book because of the cover.
  edspicer | Nov 20, 2012 |
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Life is not easy for Dylan Fontaine. He gets good grades. He is a talented basketball player with a shot at varsity next year. He is a good guitar player and a gifted artist. Basically, he is an All-American, boy-next-door type, so when he is arrested for shoplifting underwear and carrying marijuana in his pocket, it gets people's attention. However, once he explains the weird set of circumstances that led up to that arrest, Dylan finds himself with a mere 20-hours of community service, and then it's back to the usual routine of cooking and cleaning for his father and his older brother, Randy.

Although things may seem normal, Dylan's life is in turmoil. His artist mother recently left to pursue her art and possibly her artist lover. His father, an ob/gyn, spends every waking hour at the hospital delivering babies and taking care of other families. Older brother Randy is no help either, since he spends his time getting high and hanging out with the losers in his band. That leaves Dylan with no one.

Recently there does seem to be the possibility of a love life for Dylan. His best friend, Angie, has just returned from a summer film-making class and, since the breakup with her boyfriend, perhaps it is time for Dylan to make his move. After all, she is making him the subject of the short film she's making for her class. Then there is also the gorgeous new member of his brother's band, Chloe. She is around all the time and pays a lot of attention to Dylan. Is it possible he might have a chance with her, too?

Dylan Fontaine is a fascinating character. Author April Lurie writes about his crazy life in a way that will have readers flipping pages to see how things turn out. The mix of down-to-earth, wholesome Dylan and his brother's fast, risk-taking lifestyle make THE LATENT POWERS OF DYLAN FONTAINE a book with something for everyone. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
This book for young adults narrated by a fifteen-year-old boy on the threshold of adulthood is warm, witty, and rings very true.

Dylan Fontaine lives in a well-to-do household in which his father is a busy gynecologist who rarely gets home from the hospital, his mother has run off to live among her artist friends, and his older brother Randy has turned into a pothead. Randy and his band-mates hang out at the house all day, eat all the food, and get high. And Dylan, as he points out, is “usually the one left holding the scrub brush and Ty-D-Bowl.”

Dylan is secretly in love with his best friend, Angie, who already has a boyfriend. Angie asks Dylan to help her shoot a film short for a competition at New York University, and as the movie develops, it turns out to be more about Dylan than anything else. She even calls it “The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine.”

As Dylan grapples with his feelings for Angie, his sexuality, the pain in his family, and his future, Angie captures a great deal of it on film. Her editing, of which Dylan knows nothing in advance, teaches him not only about himself, but about Angie’s true feelings.

Evaluation: Why is it young adult books seem to be so much better than books ostensibly for adults? I loved this book. The characters are fully drawn, interesting, and feel authentic. The dialogue seems just right for a loving family that finds itself in crisis. Although there is some drug and sexual content, it is dealt with tastefully and discussed in a way that gives readers a positive message. This book is a charming look at some wayward teenagers that are basically nice guys. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote nbmars | Aug 3, 2009 |
Full review at http://yannabe.com/2009/06/17/nerds-heart-ya-decision/

Summary: After Dylan’s mom moved out, his dad threw himself into work and his older brother threw himself into pot. Dylan’s the glue holding the household together, but when his best friend Angie doesn’t see him that way and Dylan gets picked up by the cops, how much longer can the glue hold up?

What I Loved: The engrossing story made me immediately care about Dylan and what he was going through. This is how it starts:

I can tell you from experience that a jail cell is not a place you’d like to visit.

I loved the humor throughout. It was funny without trying too hard to be clever, so it felt like I was reading about a real kid and his problems. Here’s one part of a scene with Dylan’s older brother Randy and his stoner friends Headbone, Nick, and Moser. Moser has a bit of a hygiene issue and refuses to shower.

Suddenly Nick says, “Shut up, Headbone! Don’t you see what’s going on here?”

Headbone looks confused. “No…what? Ohhhh.”

Now Moser gets it too. He shakes his head, and I pray to God the white stuff in his hair is dandruff and not larvae.

I also genuinely thought a couple of the subplots could go either way, which made for a fun read.

What I Didn’t Love: As the story lines started to wrap up, that understated humor seemed to drop away when it was most needed. So the emotional scenes sometimes felt overly sentimental to me. Also with the ending, I thought the characters tended to be a little too forthcoming with how they really felt—not necessarily realistic. ( )
  snozzberry | Jun 18, 2009 |
Dylan's life has gone into turmoil. His mother has left the family, his dad works non-stop and his brother has become a pot-smoking fiend. Dylan feels like he is the only responsible family member left and attempts to hold the family together. I enjoyed this book. The author blends both humor and realistic dialogue with believability. However, I was frustrated by the father's character. I felt he was underdeveloped and I never really connected with him.

I think teens, especially those going through the divorce of their parents, will relate to Dylan's character. A fast, good read. ( )
  jenniferthomp75 | Oct 22, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385731256, Hardcover)

A MOTHER WHO split for another man.

A father who works 24/7.

An older brother who excels at everything—and smokes a lot of weed.

A best friend, of the feminine persuasion, who only wants to be a friend, and who’s shooting a film set in cool Greenwich Village, New York.

Dylan Fontaine’s life seems to be full of drama he can’t control. But when he stars in his best friend’s movie, Dylan discovers that, sometimes, life’s big shake-ups force you to take risks—and to step into the spotlight.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:21 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fifteen-year-old Dylan's friend Angie is making a film about him while he is busy trying to keep his older brother from getting caught with drugs, to deal with his mother having left the family, and to figure out how to get Angie to think of him as more than just a friend.… (more)

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