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On Review: Book WORDS BY 88 MAGAZINE

James Franco

Palo Alto

easy topics are completely unearthed, showing you a world you would never think to be talked about. Each story is written beautifully from a first person perspective, begging the question of whether Franco went through all of these scenarios as an adolescent and finds solace in writing about them. As we make our way deeper into the life of youth in Palo Alto, the stories get darker, like we are crawling further into a jagged cave. We become uncomfortable and scared, yet curiosity and answers to questions drive us further to finding an exit. Characters slowly start connecting to each other and stories begin to cross over between chapters. You find yourself being a detective amongst the stories, figuring out how who, what, where and how. Reading this book in your twenties will make you think twice about things you heard or saw during your own upbringing. Stuff your friends said about what they were going through, what they were doing, it really hits home and begs the question...does adolescence differ for each country, or does everyone experience the same/know people who have? As well

You would think a book of stories about the

as this, and possibly the most powerful part of the

alienation of youth in suburban America would

book, it opens your eyes to what you may have missed.

be worlds away from our own, right? Wrong.

Do these things really happen to people, who at the time are merely kids? If so, how is it so easy to miss?

Franco gifts you with powerful short story journeys about a colourful variety of characters growing up in

In conclusion, if you are looking for a read that rips

the South Bay area of San Francisco. Each character

apart the stereotypical American High School story

deals with their own adolescent topic, from drink

and shows you the gut-wrenching truth about what

and drugs, to sex and murder. But these seemingly

people go through as adolescents, then snap a copy up! 59


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