Mar 24, 2013

The Domino Effect By: Andrew Cotto Review

The Domino Effect
Author: Andrew Cotto
Pages: 238
Rating: 2.5/5
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A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Domino Effect is the story of Danny Rorro, a charismatic kid from Queens poisoned by the past. A series of painful defeats have left him scarred and isolated from his neighborhood, his parents, and, most significantly, the benevolent ways of his childhood when he was known as “Domino.” With great insight, imagery and wit, Danny recalls his past in Queens and his coming-of-age at Hamden Academy. This fast paced and powerful story is rich with conflict, humor, tenderness and music—just like life, especially when coming-of-age.

     The Domino Effect is a coming-of-age novel by author Andrew Cotto. When I was first approached about reviewing this book awhile back, I was immediately intrigued by not only the synopsis but the positive reviews I had read. I was really excited to get started on it but now that I have finished, I can honestly say it wasn't for me.

     The Domino Effect begins with the first few chapters quickly going through Domino's first, second, and third year of high school. These first few chapters give a quick but insightful view on Domino's past and helps us better understand the focus of the novel-- Domino's senior year. I have to admit that the first three chapters, in addition to the intriguing prologue, were probably my favourite parts of the entire novel. The pace was fast and kept me eagerly reading. That being said, as we make our way past those first few years, things suddenly start to slow down (as expected) because this is were the focus of the novel takes place. Unfortunately, I started to become very bored with the storyline, and my interest began to lower and lower.

     The main character, Domino, was very hard for me to connect to. I was able to sympathize with his character at the beginning, but then started lose that sympathy as I continued reading. He is impulsive and sometimes doesn't think (normal teenage qualities), but I just wasn't able to really care for his character. In addition, his relationship with Brenda was a relationship I have mixed feelings about. One moment I'm thinking they're sweet together, and the next I just see a really flimsy couple. It was hard for me to root for them as a couple and I think this largely comes back to my lack of connection with Domino. However I will say that there was evident character growth in Domino's character from the beginning to the end of the novel-- which is something I consider important in a coming-of-age novel.

     I have to make sure I point out that although this review makes The Domino Effect comes off as a negative read, the actual writing is pretty good--it was the storyline that just didn't perk my interest, and is the one of the main reasons I had to give this book a low rating.

Favourite Quotes...

"What's the matter, Cinderella?" I asked. "Bluebirds don't make your bed anymore?"


"That's how you know French."
"Yeah, I had some in school, too, but Moms is fluent. She teaches up at Baylor University, so we speak it at home all the time."
"We speak Italian at home sometimes, too, but it's more like 'listen to me or I'll smack you in the mouth,' type stuff," I joked.


     Overall, after reading such positive feedback about The Domino Effect, I was a bit disappointed by it. The storyline was alright,but thats just it, alright. If you are interested in reading a book focused in a unique setting and deals with a variety of teen issues, this might be the read for you, however it was not for me. Have you read The Domino Effect? What were your thoughts on this novel? Be sure to let me knowing the comments below! Keep reading!

Your Y.A. Bookworm,

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