From Publishers Weekly
It's 1993, and there's a lot going wrong in Scotty Loveletter's life. His goldfish has died, his well-known sex-therapist mother is considering posing for Playboy, his stepfather is getting ready to fly the coop and he's stuck at a "last-resort" boarding school. Scotty's one consolation (besides copious amounts of drugs): the music of his idols, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. "I have lived my life according to all the rules of Jerryism. I have shared my women (if my mother counts) and I have shared my wine (sometimes out the car window or all over my shirt and shoes)." When his drug-dealing roommate whisks him and a "townie" classmate away to attend Jerry's Freedom Concert on Long Island, Scotty has little idea of the adventures that are in store, which include being ditched at Grand Central Terminal and getting into the concert without a ticket. Dutton's debut will appeal most to readers who share Scotty's taste in music and recreation. Others may find the rambling narrative, 1990s setting and references, and over-the-top antics hard to get into. Ages 14-up.
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Stuck in an elite Connecticut boys’ boarding school in 1993, sophomore Scotty is struggling and his G.P.A. sucks. The kids call him Loveletter, since his mom is a famous sex therapist who writes about oral and anal sex. The only way Scotty can cope is to smoke more dope and take more drugs, and acid is his bridge over troubled water. His hero is Jerry Garcia, and Scotty takes off with his drug-dealing roommate on a New York trip to a Grateful Dead concert. More situation than story, this debut novel is much too long and repetitive. What is great is the fast, wry first-person commentary, whether about Mom (“I personally would like to see her in an apron, rather than nothing at all”), meaning (“Who really has the luxury of life with a purpose?”), or fighting back (“My survival skills amounted to the fetal position”). As for the acid, the trips are hard and sad. Grades 11-12. --Hazel Rochman