Anything You Want
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Anything You Want
Sourcebooks, ISBN 978-1402291449

“Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better.” These are the wise words Taco’s mom used to live by…before she died of cancer. But when Maggie Corrigan agrees to go to junior prom with him, suddenly, Taco’s mom’s mantra gets a lot easier to believe. Then Maggie ends up pregnant. With his own family falling apart, Taco is excited by the news. It will be a fresh start, and he has so much love to give. But with Maggie’s parents on a rampage and far from willing to let Taco into their life, he’s about to learn that sometimes love doesn’t go as planned.

“This is a frenetic, roller coaster ride of a book, filled with the misguided energy that only the young seem to have. Herbach is a master of the teen male voice, and Taco's personality jumps off the pages. Maggie's scattered reaction to her pregnancy, as well as her interactions with her angry but concerned parents, is also pitch perfect. The father is conspicuously absent and reticent when presence, and the adults in Taco's life are all baffled by his behavior but supportive when they figure out its causes.

“The best part about this book was Taco's relentless optimism. Without it, this would have been just another depressing book about a boy dealing with death, abandonment, pregnancy, drinking and all the other sad issues, but Taco's mother imbued him with a spirit that made him able to say, even on the worst days "Today is the best day of my life, and tomorrow will be even better.”

Anything You Want is like Jack Gantos's Joey Pigza meets Jo Knowles's Jumping Off Swings. And … if this didn't hook you … think of this one as a sort of prequel to Gary D. Schmidt's Orbiting Jupiter. This is Herbach at his best (so far). Herbach's star is on the rise. Read Herbach. Have your kids read Herbach. He's a “dingus” with a “good heart.”

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