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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in good shape, mylar library jacket with usual library marks and stamps. shows some reader wear
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Adios, Nirvana Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054736895X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547368955
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up–Jonathan isn't sure he can survive in the wake of his twin's death after being struck by a Seattle bus. Telly's guitar talent and magnetism have cast a shadow that's hard for the high school junior to get out from under–how can a lifelong duet turn solo? While hanging with his “Thicks,” the tight circle of buddies he shared with his twin, he's focused on vodka-filled grapes, the immediacy of sensation, and an epic poem to his lost other half, but meanwhile he's dug himself a hole tough to climb out of in the remaining months of the school year. He has to use his own substantial talents as an award-winning poet to write the life story of a World War II vet dying in hospice and perform the principal's favorite song at graduation on a legendary guitar donated by rocker hero Eddie Vedder after Telly's death. What's more, his flaky mom bugs him to scrape and paint the house so that she can turn it into a wedding chapel. Through a scary lack of sleep and bursts of activity fueled by NoDoz and Red Bull, Jonathan grapples with finding his own singularity and sounds. By working with the blind veteran, whose story of loss resonates with and amplifies Jonathan's own survivor's guilt, he can better face his audience to perform with the grit of Telly's ashes sharing the limelight. Homage to poetry, music, friendship, and youth, this brash, hip story should attract its share of skater dudes and guitar jammers.–Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GAα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In the wake of his twin brother’s death, Jonathan, a former star student, is facing the possibility of repeating his junior year. The only things standing between him and failure are his devoted best friends, an understanding principal named Gupti, and his English teacher. The assignments that will ensure his promotion? Attend class every day, help an 88-year-old WWII veteran write his memoir, and perform Gupti’s favorite song, “Crossing the River Styx,” at graduation. Wesselhoeft offers a psychologically complex debut that will intrigue heavy-metal aficionados and drama junkies alike. Peopled with the elderly and infirm, crazy parents, caring educators, and poignant teens trying desperately to overcome death’s pull, it mixes real and fictional musicians and historical events to create a moving picture of struggling adolescents and the adults who reach out with helping hands. Darker and more complex than Jordan Sonnenblick’s thematically similar Notes from the Midnight Driver (2006), Adios, Nirvana targets an audience of YAs who rarely see themselves in print. Grades 8-12. --Frances Bradburn

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Read this book with a box of kleenex.
Candace Robinson
Losing someone you truly love is probably the most tragic event that could happen in a person's life.
Shy
Adios Nirvana is an enjoyable escape - very poetic, polished, and likeable.
Thomas A. Lennhoff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jonathan's lost the person closest to him, his twin brother Telly. He believes Telly, the leader of a band who is well liked, is the best of them. In his grief, he's nearly flunking out of his junior year drowning his sorrows in Red Bulls and abusing drugs. His 'thicks' (best friends) and the Principal are going to force him to make it through whether he likes it or not. Jonathan's required to do one assignment, write the biography of a dying WWII vet. In meeting David and helping him reconcile his losses, the hope is that Jonathan will come to terms with Telly's death.

I truly liked and appreciated the view of the Seattle grunge scene and the fact that for once, this YA didn't focus on a love story. The issues that Jonathan faces are monumental for any age. All the pressures of HS only make grieving worse. Jonathan was a tough character to come to terms with. He pretty much griped through everything he did. This is legitimate, everyone processes loss in their own way and whatever is comfortable for them. If you want to read a YA book which deals more positively with grief, see Green Witch. The protagonist of this tale lost her whole civilization and is working hard to help reclaim it.

The author has an amazing talent of turning inanimate objects into living, breathing parts of the story. "Ruby" the guitar was one of the most powerful voices in this tale despite her composition of wood and wires.

I have three issues with the story, thus the 4 stars:

First: I object to Jonathan and his 'thicks' using the word 'faggy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ginny Day on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Adios Nirvana in a single sitting. I didn't mean to. I slid, unsuspecting, into this honest world where conventions of `should', dinner times, and school reports to write - are unimportant. I joined a sixteen year old boy dealing with the death of his twin brother - with music, with poetry, with Red Bull and with his `thicks' (friends through thick and thin). I came to understand young men of depth better than I did. I'll never again view their mute sullenness as willful. We live our lives fearing tragedy. Adios Nirvana tells us loss is inevitable, human - but it is survivable.
Although the sixteen year old protagonist says, "Everybody's wondering how can I arrange the daises and dandelions of my life into a better bouquet?" The answer is, you can't. Life is random. Life is absurd. Life is deadly. The bouquet arranges itself. And it doesn't always bloom or smell good."
The story promises that if we stop sleeping - and connect with another person without guile or defense - "Maybe we don't need to hit the duck. Maybe all we need to do is say what we must say once, to another human being, openly and honestly, with humility and remorse. Maybe that is enough."
Want more? A couple of adults save this young life, but not the way you'd expect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mikasavaii on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a quick but deep read about about a talented youth coming to grips with his and others' lives whilst coping with a personal tragedy. The author found a creative way to intertwine emotional extremes with true friendship, family disfunctionality, educational bureaucracy, idol worship, a little porn, and mortality -- all the while keeping things moving and funny. Not such an easy task. A nice ride which I consumed while sitting in my treestand during bowhunting season in GA.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Kraus VINE VOICE on April 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Maybe it's because I'm not actively looking, but I don't come across that many young adult books that seem targeted at boys. This one has virtually all male characters and plenty of things to interest a teen male.

Jonathan's life has completely changed in the aftermath of his twin brother's death. Clearly he idolized Telly. He thinks he can't play guitar as well as Telly, but he's actually very good. He's an acclaimed writer at his school after winning a poetry award and his English teacher is his biggest fan. Jonathan says that Telly was the center of their group of friends, but now Jonathan seems to be their center and they're worried about him. He forgoes sleep in favor of taurine and/or caffeine. He takes crazy chances, like climbing on the ledge of a bridge.

After missing most of his classes, Jonathan is given one chance to make up the work by writing the autobiography of a dying old man. He goes into the job reluctantly but, of course, ends up finding it a rewarding experience.

I liked this book a lot. The parts about Jonathan playing guitar and worshipping Eddie Vedder were nice. The build-up to Jonathan playing at the school's graduation ceremony was fun, with a surprise ending.

I think all teens will like this book, boys and girls alike. And I'm an adult and I loved it. Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terry L on February 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am not the audience the author intended for this book. I am 50-years-old and about as musically inclined as a doorknob, but this was the only book lying around the house late one night when I was looking to read a few pages of a book before I went to bed.

Those few pages turned into about 3/4ths of the book before I decided I needed to get some sleep because I had to get up in the morning to go to work. That, and I wanted to save a little so I would have something to read the following day.

The product description and other reviews cover the content of the book really well, so I won't waste your time repeating it. But I will tell you this book is very enjoyable and entertaining to read, the dialog is wonderful, and the author does not waste the reader's time with "filler" that adds nothing other than making the book longer. There are occasions when, if you think about it too much, you might say, "Hmm, that stretches the bounds of believability." But really, it doesn't make the book any less enjoyable, and, in fact, those instances help make the book fun to read.

I would think the author's intended audience, seemingly older teenage boys, would enjoy this book even more than me. The main character is just someone many people of this age can identify with for various reasons.

As for me, this was one of those books that makes reading fun. I enjoyed it all the way through.
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