Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

Reviewed by A. Klink, September 2020

Spontaneous opens by introducing high school senior, Mara Carlyle, who is just trying to graduate senior year, when suddenly in Mara’s Pre-Calculus class, Katelyn Ogden blows up. Katelyn is the first, but she won't be the last teenager to blow up without warning or explanation. As the seniors continue to pop like balloons and the national eye turns to Mara's small New Jersey town, the FBI rolls in and the search for a reason is on. 

From here, Mara begins to narrate the story of what could be the end of the world for the small town, but she discovers the resident bad guy in town has been secretly stalking her. Dylan becomes the highlight of Mara’s life. He is known to play many roles in the story; Dylan, her new boyfriend. Dylan, the mysterious texter. Dylan, the supposed father of three. Throughout the investigation, many questions arise such as “Why are only the juniors blowing up? Why not parents, grandparents or even pets? What makes teenagers so special? Dating style? Biological experimentation gone wrong?” To these questions, there are so many answers to be discovered throughout the rest of the book. The community lives in fear for they never know who will be taken out next, and no one is safe.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is a great read for teenagers. It is a book that has so many different aspects that the reader never saw coming. It is a story unlike any other, and it allows the reader to reflect on themselves subconsciously. Starmer reflects the struggles of teen life very accurately throughout all 354 pages, and it results in a book that is a very entertaining read that envelopes the reader into the story.