Review of an AMAZING book: Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft (#JustContemporary)

Last year I read a book that I totally do not think got the attention it deserves.  It absolutely blew me away.  I met Conrad a few weeks ago and it reminded me that I can’t do Just Contemporary (find out more about this event HERE) without featuring Adios, Nirvana.  This is a book that I seriously very highly recommend to those who enjoy a male teen narrator, a Seattle setting, a realistic contemporary and writing that will totally blow you away.  I’m going to repost my review here but at the end you can see the cover of the paperback that comes out in January (I LOVE it!). 
Also, you can see pictures and read the event recap from when I got to meet Conrad HERE.  He has such amazing story ideas and I have my fingers crossed that some of those stories will soon be published for us to actually read!  

Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft- ARC Review

Details: Hardcover, 240 pgs. (I read an ARC)
Published: Oct. 25, 2010 by Houghton Mifflin

isbn: 054736895X (ISBN13: 9780547368955)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Received from: Won an ARC 


  When you piss off a bridge into a snowstorm, it feels like you’re connecting with eternal things. Paying homage to something or someone. But who? The Druids? Walt Whitman? No, I pay homage to one person only, my brother, my twin.
       In life. In death.
       Telemachus. Since the death of his brother, Jonathan’s been losing his grip on reality. Last year’s Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School’s resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He’s on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won’t sit back and let him fail.

My Thoughts:
Where to start?  This book went way beyond any expectations I had.  Well, I really had no expectations.  I’ve seen it everywhere in the blogosphere but hadn’t heard anything about it being good so I put off reading my ARC.  When I picked it up and started reading I was impressed immediately by the writing, but the story didn’t completely blow me away until later.  
I think I thought this book would have something about Nirvana in it, or maybe just be about some horny teenage boy.  And it wasn’t like that at all.  The Nirvana being referred to is bliss.  You know, the actual meaning of Nirvana?  Not to say there wasn’t any mention of Nirvana, the music group, because the story takes place in Seattle, and its about a boy that is a poet and a musician.  So of course there are a couple of Nirvana songs mentioned.  
This story is about a boy who’s twin has died.  It’s been awhile since it happened, but he’s been going through some tough times.  He’s been given a chance to redeem himself in the schools eyes and will pass his junior year if he can write the biography of an old World War II veteran and has to sing and play a song in front of  the entire school on graduation.  On top of this he has to do his homework, paint his house so his mother can open a wedding chapel in it, and he is unable to sleep.  
Jonathan is a poet and his words used through out the book are beautiful.  This author was able to bring to life a teenage boy so well!  He made a fictional character real.  This book is about a boy who searches high and low for himself.  And he finds himself through poetry, music and an old dying man.  Not to mention all the other great characters in the hospice home.  Old Agnes who is 99 and has dementia and always says “Float a turd” (which becomes his favorite saying), and Katie, the beautiful girl who may have more going on then he is aware of.  
This is also about true friends, as Jonathans won’t let him give up.  They won’t let him fail and thicks (best friends) are forever.  They stick by each other through thick and thin.  And Jonathan will do anything for them as they’ve been by his side through his misery and grief.
I could take quotes out of this book all day to share with you guys.  There’s just so many beautiful words and phrases.  This book is poetic.  Beautiful.  Heart wrenching.  Read this book with a box of kleenex.  But be sure you read it.  
5/5 stars
Find the author:
Paperback cover to be released January 10th, 2012
Thanks for subscribing!


  1. This sounds AMAZING! Like, whoa. I saw it for the first time just a few days ago and immediately added it to my wishlist but now I want it even more! It looks SO good! I have to get my hands on this one soon!

  2. I started this one ages ago when I thought I could read on the computer! HA! I got it from Net Galley and it expired before I could read it. What I read, I loved and I meant to buy a copy. I’m glad you loved it. It makes me want to pick up a copy. He did have a lot to go through. I loved his friends. And the veteran.
    And Jonathan’s honesty with the veteran. It was funny at times.
    Yeah, I need to read it.


  3. I don’t remember reading your review when you originally posted it, or reading any reviews of this book. Now though, I MUST get it. It’s going on my wishlist and if I don’t get in HC, I am definitely picking up the paperback because Adios, Nirvana sounds phenomenal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge