After falling for the new guy at school, sixteen-year-old Tierney uncovers the truth surrounding the drug-fueled death of her best friend, Jeremy. Random, a contemporary expose of teenage life in Los Angeles, begins with a not-so-innocent truancy and builds - through complex, interwoven relationships - to a shock ending that sets Tierney up as a young female noir protagonist.
This review is from: Random (Kindle Edition)
Charong Chow's Random is a thrilling read: a dark noir-influenced mature teen love story that captures adolescent disenchantment and danger in the midst of LA's suburban landscape, with a precision that echoes the raw unfettered vision of Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero, thirty years on.
Tierney is a sixteen year old high school co-ed who's neither the Bad Girl in school, nor exactly your average student, either. Excited by the arrival of Tom, a handsomely mysterious new kid, Tierney skips classes with her best friends, Jeremy (who's openly gay) and Maya, taking Tom along for a drug-fueled truancy that foreshadows darker things to come.
Written with an energy and razor-sharp dialogue that mixes teen angst and ennui with the shadows of a Hollywood long past - a Hollywood explored in a visit to Tom's grandparents and to the Griffith Observatory (famous for a key sequence in Rebel Without A Cause) - Random perfectly captures the lifestyle of kids on the verge of adulthood but not quite understanding the responsibilities they face, in the decade that is itself the teens of the 21st Century.
A compelling read that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, Random is hugely influenced by the drug-related death at a young age of Charong Chow's closest highschool friend. The sense of loss of the author's friend powers the pages of Random with an energy that is both part contemporary noir mystery and part emotional catharsis.
Random is edgy, funny at times, totally authentic in its picture of teen life - but more than anything, it is moving: a tribute to the senseless loss of a young life, the kind of event you read about in the news or hear about in a chance encounter with an old schoolfriend.
Life can seem random enough at times, but death at an early age throws the universe itself off-course. Charong Chow's Random plumbs friendship, flirtation, sexual identity and threat to create a world in which love and loss color a landscape that is at once familiar and frighteningly new.