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I'm a hopeful cynic.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary

The Vast Fields of Ordinary - Nick Burd 2.5 stars rounded up.So. The Vast Fields of Ordinary. Indeed. Because there wasn't anything really extraordinary about this book.Someone should probably rewrite the blurb. I kept expecting "tragedy to shutter the dreamy curtain of summer," but unless you count the last chapter—that textbook example of telling instead of showing—tragedy was resoundingly absent from this book.I didn't like Dade. He was a boring, unexceptional, detached, and at times even mean rich kid with rich kids' problems. (Okay, Pablo wasn't very nice to him in the first 1/3 of the book, I'll give him that, but look what happened to bad Pablo who refused to come out of the closet for Dade's sake. Hm?) He'd just finished school and he was about to go to college and, practically, all he did was doze the summer away sprawled out on a chaise by the pool of his house pretending he cared about his parents' impending divorce. In those pool scenes he kind of reminded me of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate.Also, Dade should be dubbed the Gladstone Gander of Midwestern suburbia. The moment he needed a BFF, Lucy (who also happened to be a lesbian, how convenient) magically moved to his neighbourhood. The moment he needed a real boyfriend, Alex Kincaid appeared as if out of thin air. Bonus features: he was cool, he was sexy, and he was gay (he was also a drug dealer and a loser, but who cared about that.) The moment he needed time and space to explore his newly-minted relationship with Alex, his parents decided to go to Europe for two weeks to try and save their marriage. I know, right? Gladstone Dade.Then you had that little missing girl. Who I suppose symbolised Dade's life? Yep. I won't go there. It wasn't very well done.Still, I won't say this book was an entire waste of time. Although the story had a cliché air about it, there were parts where the writing was decent and had me wondering about the author's other work (he hasn't written anything else, unfortunately.)I'd say, if you approach this without any great expectations, you might even like it.