(Review) Down and Across
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
Publication Date: February 6th, 2018
Pages: 336 (kindle)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 3.5 stars
Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. Writing the Great American Novel? Three chapters. His summer internship? One week. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion.
With college applications looming, Scott’s parents pressure him to get serious and settle on a career path like engineering or medicine. Desperate for help, he sneaks off to Washington, DC, to seek guidance from a famous professor who specializes in grit, the psychology of success.
He never expects an adventure to unfold out of what was supposed to be a one-day visit. But that’s what Scott gets when he meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. When the bicycle she lends him gets Scott into a high-speed chase, he knows he’s in for the ride of his life. Soon, Scott finds himself sneaking into bars, attempting to pick up girls at the National Zoo, and even giving the crossword thing a try—all while opening his eyes to fundamental truths about who he is and who he wants to be.
It took me a while to get into this one, but once I did it was hard to put down. Scott is a great character, despite his evaluation of himself. Who doesn't love a self-deprecating teenage boy, amirite? Scott is funny, if not a little sad. He can't seem to concentrate or stay committed to anything (his parents don't believe in psychologists).
In an effort to fix himself, Scott ditches an internship in order to talk to a professor who studies grit, which he decides he needs more of.
While Scott is searching for grit he also finds Fiora, Trent, and Jeanette. This trio of characters affect his life in big, small, and kind of weird ways. Scott's time in DC is filled with hangovers, fights, friendships, and really awkward dates. Through it all Scott does happen to find something that he's passionate about and manages to help others in the process.
I loved reading about Scott's progress and how he come to terms with things in his life. His relationships with the people he meet are genuine and entertaining (even when they end).
Great read about a boy trying ti find his place in the world.
Thanks to First to Read and the publisher for the ARC.