Sorry You're Lost
Eleven-year-old wiseass Denny is a class clown, pretending to surf on desks, wittily mouthing off to his teachers, and becoming the butt of every joke. But Denny’s life is far from funny—his mom died four months ago, and his dad is hiding from the world, spending his time eating fried chicken, watching TV, and avoiding talking to Denny. So when his best friend Manny comes up with a scheme that will distract him from his painful existence and rake in some cold hard cash, Denny is solidly on board. Together, Denny and Manny—walking a fine line between charmingly guileless and infuriatingly clueless—sell candy to their fellow middle-school students to ensure their popularity (or “compatibility quotient”) and their ability to score dates for the dance. Blackstone (A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie, 2011) has crafted compelling, believable characters here: Denny’s father’s life-arresting grief is palpable, and Denny’s painful battle between playing manically happy and being truly vulnerable—rendered in frantic, anxiety filled run-on sentences—is nothing short of heartbreakingly authentic.
— Sarah Hunter