Party School by John Hart

a non-spoiler review

Party School tells the story of Dylan Mills, as he leaves high school and enters college. He’s not pumped, he’s not at an it school, and his girlfriend wants to “grow”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. He comes from Castleton, a posh, high-end, and pretentious town that calls itself a village for the vibes. Where everyone around him is rich and going on to college at it schools, as they call them, Dylan instead, is heading to North South, formerly two separate community colleges combined into one, only about twenty minutes from a prison. He’s an outsider from the poor part of town, trying to make a name for himself in Castleton.

His girlfriend, Rosemary, is going to one of these it schools, and while she’s there, she wants to meet new people, and see new people, but they won’t break up. She promises. Dylan wants no part of it, but he agrees. He would do anything for Rosemary, even the three weeks of radio silence she insists on.

Now with no contact from Rosemary, Dylan learns more about himself and grows into a new type of person. Away from pretentious Castleton, away from his, frankly, overbearing parents, and in a new place with stoner friends, eclectic professors, and a school with a reputation for weed and partying, Dylan sees a new side of himself, his loved ones, and the “village” he once called home.

Party School is a fun, quick read that taps into the mind of Dylan, all of his emotions laid bare for us to see and feel with him. The story is fast-paced and the characters are interesting to read about. From Wally and Sam and Berkowitz, to Dylan’s best friend Dorian who we only ever meet through the phone, they all play a part in helping Dylan through his journey of self-discovery. Party School is definitely a book worth checking out.

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