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Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated Paperback – February 26, 2017
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About the Author
Tom Starita is the author of two novels, "Two Ways to Sunday" and "Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated" and makes an impact on everyone he encounters. When asked for her thoughts about him, Oprah Winfrey said, "Who?" Tom Hanks refused to respond to an email asking for a quote and former Mets great Mookie Wilson once waved to him from a passing taxi.
Originally from Staten Island, NY Starita has now found a home in the beautiful beach community of Stratford, Connecticut with his wife Shannon and their dog Lola. He remains a loyal fan of the New York Mets.
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Snarky, the first word that came to my mind throughout reading the book. Funny, it had me laughing, chuckling, or shaking my head. Offensive (in a good way) if you can stomach some of the off the wall events, dialogue or interaction between characters. Realistic, plain and simple, a story that follows one man's journey over several months at the end of a relationship as his life changes slowly. The author makes a perfectly solid jerk look like the good guy, in a way the character is good. (Reminds me far too well of many I have known and no longer associate with) but this was a fun, cheeky, shaking head in my hand read. Was hard to write the review, because the book took my brain in a variety of directions. Only complaint was that the book needs a completely different title! Judging it by the title, I assumed it was a self-help book! Good read, snarky, there are a few parts some folks won't be able to tolerate (cursing and an adult rated establishment) as fair warning but all in good taste and done well, as well as brief. Also, the book was edited to a polish.
I truly recommend this book (and Two Ways To Sunday). You will spend your time laughing and a little sad.You may even know someone like the main character. Even reading about his misery will keep you involved in the characters life of adventure. A very good read!
It's not the type of book I typically read, I'm more of a history and sci-fi guy. I enjoyed reading this story. Tom Starita has a sense of humor that comes through in the inner dialogue of his protagonist. I was hovering between 4 and 5 stars, but his last name pushed me over the edge!
Read the rest of the review at <a href="https://www.undergroundbookreviews.org/review-of-growth-and-change-are-highly-overrated-by-tom-starita/">Undergroundbookreviews.org</a>
He’s a rock 'n roll rebel, and he wants to rock your world. He wants his songs to be the ones you lose your virginity to, the ones that you listen to on all your road trips, the ones that push you away from conventional life and towards your dreams.
Unfortunately, his fiancée—and primary means of financial support—has left him. With no upcoming gigs and no other income, Lucas is forced to take a soul-crushing job at “That Store.” Clinging resolutely to his rock 'n roll dreams, he nonetheless compromises his values by selling people expensive stuff they don’t need. However, even though Lucas is above exchanging money for these overpriced goods, he’s not above *stealing* them.
So begins the long, strange journey of Tom Starita’s novel Growth and Change are Highly Overrated. It’s a coming-of-age tale told with naked sincerity, unabashedly cheeky and unashamed to speak its truth. The narrative reads as though its protagonist—perhaps having achieved his musical dream—were relating his trip to the top in a Rolling Stone feature story. A hallmark of an exceptional book is that it is evident that the author was having fun writing it. That's the sense you get with this book. Its balls-to-the-wall humor makes it clear that Starita was enjoying himself immensely while writing this book, and that definitely resonates with the reader. Growth and Change is a literary earworm; it’s as though a classic song, complete with funky lyrics and rippin’ guitars, has been transformed into an equally entertaining work of fiction.
At center stage is Lucas James; brash, brazen, and cocky, he’s a rock 'n roll anarchist bent on defying societal expectations and doing what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. Music is his heart and soul, and he’ll settle for nothing less than a place among the gods of rock. For now, though, he’s got to grin and bear it at “That Store,” slaving under a dictatorial boss, avoiding a co-worker with an overactive sweat gland and a creepy man-crush on our hero. The only consolation here is that he can at least get his hands on stuff without caving in to the capitalist mindset, even if his methods are unethical. Lucas James is utterly allergic to responsibility of any kind, and will never do anything nice for someone else—unless there's something in it for him. Whether you condone his actions or not, he's got charisma in spades, and you've got to admire the silver tongue that enables him to talk his way out of (almost) anything. Throughout the book, Lucas James clings fast to his rock 'n roll fantasy, nursing his sincere desire to stick it to The Man and break out of the box of normalcy.
Childhood adventures, reminiscences, and family stories punctuate the novel, adding a rich depth to Lucas’ backstory and why he believes music is his destiny. There are several rants against social norms and consumerism as well. Sometimes these ramblings go on a little too long, but they are important in showcasing Lucas’ philosophy—and the premise of the book itself.
Beneath the rock & roll lawlessness, though, there is a striking poignancy behind Lucas James’ story. Everyone has dreams. Everyone has childhood fantasies of what they want to be when they grow up. As time goes on and youth passes, though, reality sets in, and somehow, those aspirations get lost in the shuffle. With its central character, the addresses this dilemma in a way that is funny and thought-provoking at the same time.
• What is the cost of “playing it safe,” of not taking risks and going for what you really want out of life?
• Is conforming to society and the consumerist mindset worth it?
• Is it selfish to put your dreams and aspirations ahead of someone else’s needs—even when that someone cares about you?
• When do you need to accept that those things you dreamed about as a kid might not happen?
• When do you need to face the facts and—grow up?
These are all questions worth asking, and this is just one of many aspects that make Growth and Change are Highly Overrated a worthwhile read. It’s funny, flippant, and free-spirited, just like Lucas James. Who knows? Maybe someday, he'll make it all the way to the top.
I'd like to close this review with a bit of advice: If you break a dinner plate on the floor because your significant other left you, do yourself a favor and clean it up *immediately.* Even if your heart is broken, your feet will still be okay.