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The Domino Effect Paperback – April 29, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Domino Effect is full of charming characters and the narrative really grips your attention. There are resonances of To Kill A Mockingbird in the incontrovertible morality guiding the story. I found it hard to put down." - BookStackReviews

"Cotto's coming-of-age story left me invigorated, and thinking to myself, "Now, that's how you tell a story." - Underground Book Reviews

"There is an honesty and humor in these pages that doesn't come along every day, but when it does, it is something that should be acknowledged and paid forward." - Lisa Dawn Martinez

"The prologue in this has got to be one of the shortest I think I've ever read, but the most powerful.  It had me wanting to start Danny's story fast and I'm glad I did." - Spellbound by Books

The Domino Effect by Andrew Cotto is a thoughtful coming of age story that quietly reveals Danny's struggle to understand ethnic polarization, first love, the meaning of friendship and how to do what he knows is right. A book for both boys and girls, I recommend The Domino Effect for readers aged 14 and up - Mother-Daughter Book Review

From the Author

THE DOMINO EFFECT is a story about growing up. It is intended to be a coming of age story, as opposed to strictly a YA novel, with the idea of appealing to both those experiencing adolescence and those who have survived it as well. It is also intended to be funny and heartbreaking and, in the end, touching and real.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Brownstone Editions LLC (April 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615479677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615479675
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,145,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Every once and a while a young adult book comes along that surprises me. The Domino Effect falls into this category, both thoughtful-- yet humorous, moralistic-- yet light-hearted. Cotto's coming-of-age story left me invigorated, and thinking to myself, "Now, that's how you tell a story."

Though The Domino Effect has not seen the rampant readership like current fantasy and sci-fi novels, it should. The story chronicles the high school career, particularly the senior year, of Danny "Domino" Rorro. After a violent attack at his old school, Danny's parents enroll him in Hamden Academy, a prestigious boarding school far different than life at home. Danny manages to maintain his comical out-look on life in this new setting, though he carries scars from the past. Things begin to change for Danny when he is assigned a roommate, Terance King, the only African American at Hamden Academy. This event propels both boys into a conflict of race that tests them to the core and changes them forever.

Though the novel takes a while to warm up, the depth of Danny's character will draw you in and keep you captive. Danny's wise-cracking, street-wise Italian voice will keep you chuckling. Cotto is a master at the adolescent banter and the descriptions of Hamden, told through Danny, were pitch perfect. The tender romance between Danny and Brenda Devine is touching and heartfelt. My one complaint would be that Cotto opens with pages of exposition on the previous three years, much of which could have been dealt out later or cut completely. I fear that readers may get bogged down in the first few pages and miss the gold lurking beyond.

Overall, The Domino Effect, does not disappoint. You'll find yourself cheering for Danny through the end. But more importantly, you'll find yourself reflecting on deep issues, something that is often lacking in teen literature of today.

If you enjoyed this review, you can find more at [...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed The Domino Effect. Its main character, Danny Rorro, reminds me a lot of myself in high school. Confident and outgoing at the same time vulnerable and confused. The years 14-18 are packed with so many firsts and unknowns. You're finding friends and girls at the same time trying to get to know what you like and don't. There's no preparation for being a teenager, just one day, bam, you're there. The Domino Effect captures the chaos and climax of those years with great style and storytelling. It's nice to revisit high school in this book. I'm just glad I don't have to live it again.
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Format: Paperback
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

While this is in the realm of YA, this is not the typical book that I read. That said, I really enjoyed The Domino Effect. This book focuses on the internal and external journey of Danny (Domino) as he goes through his turbulent teenage years. We travel with him through his rough childhood and growing up in his Italian family as well as going with him to boarding school where he juggles a beautiful girlfriend, wrestling bullies, and a nerdy roommate.

The strength of this novel is in its characters. Danny himself is painfully unaware of the teachings of his father for most of the book-- like most teenagers, all he can think about is himself and his problems. I loved how he grew and developed throughout the book and finally learned how to care for others the hard way (which always seems to be the case in the teenage years!!!). I thought that Brenda Divine was a terrific character, and she got her moment of glory in the end, which I appreciated.

The one thing that I was less enamored with was the conversations between Danny and the guys. It was harder to read because most of them had some type of lingo, and there were pages of just joshing around-- which while accurate, took away from the main storyline for me. That said, there was a wonderful moment between Danny and his roommate Sam, which I loved.

Overall, this was a wonderful book, and I greatly enjoyed reading it.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Andrew Cotto for many reasons. First, he does a fantastic job of setting the scene -- both the inner city neighborhood in Queens facing a changing demographic, and, in contrast, an affluent private school in rural New Jersey, where uniformity is the norm. Although very different environments, both expose Danny to similar experiences: budding romance, tensions in friendships, racism, and bullying by those who want to reign supreme. Danny approaches his conflicts with a warm heart and a confused teenage mind, perfectly described by the author. Despite his aversion to his father's "do-good" ways, inside he wants to do the right thing, but just doesn't seem able to get it right. The story is engaging and was a quick read - I finished it in less than a day, and was sorry to see it end.
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Danny Rorro starts out young and naive. One minuete he is an innocent young man who has no reason to question his father's deeply held values of inclusion and brotherly love.

These values are thrown into question when Danny becomes a victim of his peers who think otherwise. Canny blames his father for his unhappy experiences and distances himself from the person he had formerly held in such high regard. He is angry and disappointed, and flees his toxic environment only to have his values tested again.

We get caught up in Danny's journey through the minefield of emotions and circumstances he must navigate inorder to decide for himself who he really is.
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