Praise for The Great Big One: "J.C. Geiger’s The Great Big One is a love song to the people and places that define us, a punk rock anthem of adolescence—a sweeping symphony that picks the reader up like a powerful wave and carries them away in its pages. It is beautiful, dangerous (as all good literature should be), and perhaps most importantly, a challenge to embrace the mysterious."—Bryan Bliss, author of the National Book Award longlist title We'll Fly Away
"Compelling character development . . . will find an audience in teens with a sense of wanderlust and an itch for adventure."—School Library Journal
"Think Cain and Able looking for Woodstock and hippies while on a remarkable quest for the meaning of life. J.C Geiger has built a unique, gritty, and challenging world decorated with similes, music, myth, love, and death." —School LIbrary Connection
"Geiger’s staccato, enigmatic sentence fragments are stylistically interesting and poetic... this sophomore novel is a moving, bittersweet examination of the search for a meaningful signal in the noise after a death." —Booklist
"Geiger plays fast and loose with realism, sprinkling in a hint of magic, unlikely luck, and unreliable narration to blur the genres a bit between realistic fiction and fantasy."—BCCB
"Lyrically told in the third person over three parts, this tale of first love, music, grief, and identity takes unexpected turns."—Kirkus
"With an ambitious plotline and nuanced characters, Geiger’s (Wildman) novel begins as a tense love triangle before veering into a . . . richly detailed mystery about the terrible catastrophes that even the most ardent prepper cannot anticipate."—Publisher's Weekly
Praise for Wildman: "I LOVE THIS BOOK. It's hilarious, sad, and unputdownable."—Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist
"Wildman is that good song that gets under your skin and respins your DNA."—Martha Brockenbrough, award-winning author of The Game of Love and Death
*"A thought-provoking, hilarious, eloquent story of a young man realizing that the world is much larger than the one set up for him."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"The book shines the brightest when it toes the line between real and surreal, highlighting the existential question that high-school graduates face: How do I live the rest of my life?"—Booklist
With an ambitious plotline and nuanced characters, Geiger’s (Wildman) novel begins as a tense love triangle before veering into a grief-tinged mystery. Like many of the men in coastal Oregon’s Clade City, the site of a devastating 1964 tsunami, white 17-year-old twins Griff and Leo Tripp are preppers, spending their free time preparing for a tsunami, nuclear attack, or whatever potential disaster awaits. Normally close, the Tripp siblings’ relationship begins to fray as Griff develops feelings for new classmate Charity, a talented singer who is Black and Dominican. Having formed a band with Charity, the twins and fellow prepper Thomas hear an exhilarating musical broadcast picked up on a stray radio frequency. As Leo and Charity begin to investigate the musical puzzle, Griff interprets his ominous feeling of doom as certainty that his charismatic brother will steal Charity’s heart, as occurred with a previous crush. Though the writing’s intentionally fractured style threatens to scramble the story’s momentum, patience pays off in this richly detailed mystery about the terrible catastrophes that even the most ardent prepper cannot anticipate. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (July)
Gr 8 Up—Seventeen-year-old Griffin Tripp did not expect to find something as hauntingly beautiful as the music in his small coastal community of Clade City. He just wanted to be part of the band with his controlling twin brother Leo, his best friend Thomas, and especially his summertime crush, Charity Simms. However, when their obsession to find the source of the music, and the band playing it, turns to tragedy, Griff has to decide for himself what is truly important—sinking into his community's doomsday prepper lifestyle or rising up and discovering what living really means. His journey will lead him to discover the power of music, loss, love, and life but it may also lead him to destruction. There is a lot going on in this book and it takes its time to get to the action. It is divided into three musical parts: an Overture, Andante, and Scherzo. The narrative mirrors these three divisions, which hinders the pace of the story. That said, there is a great deal of compelling character development that takes place during these parts. It is during the Scherzo that the action and the characters coalesce; new, diverse, and interesting characters are introduced and the story reaches a relatively satisfying ending, though some readers might wish a few elements of the conclusion had been more fleshed out. Griff, Leo, and Thomas are white, and Charity is Dominican and Black. VERDICT This story, with its slow start but a satisfactory payoff, will find an audience in teens with a sense of wanderlust and an itch for adventure.—Erik Knapp, Davis Lib., Plano, TX
A young man struggles to be his true self against a backdrop of looming natural disasters in this contemporary novel.
Seventeen-year-old Griff is an introverted, thoughtful, and talented pianist who is used to being sidelined by his self-assured twin brother, Leo, who has more than once gone after girls he is interested in. Griff’s feelings come to a head when he falls hard for Charity, with whom he, Leo, and their goofball friend, Thomas, start a band after unexpectedly running into her at a concert. The fictional Oregon community where they live was decimated by a tsunami in the 1960s. The brothers’ participation in the Lost Coast Preppers, a group that works to develop warning systems and disaster plans, includes involvement with a radio station, an element that ties into an interesting, if at times confusing, plotline about the source of a mysterious signal they pick up. Lyrically told in the third person over three parts, this tale of first love, music, grief, and identity takes unexpected turns. Meandering phrases and sentence fragments mesh effectively with the more whimsical elements, though the style doesn’t work as well in some of the action-oriented passages. Most major characters are White; Charity is Dominican and Black.
An occasionally muddled but earnest and original coming-of-age story. (Fiction. 14-18)