Now that spring has sprung at Chapel Hill, when you need that well deserved break from studying in the UL, why not curl up in the quad on a sunny day with a good book that has nothing to do with your Poli 100 class? It is certainly one of my favorite activities, at least.

This week, the book I curled up with on the quad was “The House of Tomorrow,” the debut novel from Peter Bognanni. I know you should never do this because one should never judge a book by its cover, but I picked it up from Bull’s Head because I really liked the cover art. I started reading it and found myself quickly getting sucked into the world of Sebastian and his batty grandmother, the two of whom live in an isolated geodesic dome in the middle of the woods, cut off from everything that will not lead them on their supreme path.

The main plot follows Sebastian, a sheltered 16-year-old orphan who lives with his grandmother in the woods. Now, Nana isn’t your normal over-the-river-and-through-the-woods grandma; she’s obsessed with the futurist philosophies of her former lover and teacher, R. Buckminster Fuller. They live in a geodesic dome in an attempt to fulfill his vision of a “spaceship earth.”

Fun Fact:  The term Spaceship Earth might ring a bell from your childhood… EPCOT perhaps? Yes, indeed.  That geodesic sphere “Spaceship Earth” was designed based on Fuller’s plans and is the most famous geodesic structure in the world.

Anyways, back to the book. When his grandmother suffers a stroke, Sebastian is forced to encounter the real world and there he meets the sarcastic and hard-to-love Jared Whitcomb, a heart-transplant survivor who is altogether quite obnoxious in his attempt to be all things “punk.” Together, they form an unlikely duo and an equally-as-unlikely punk rock band (The Rash), and make plans to take the local church talent show by force.  Of course, plot twists and complications arise, and well, you’ll have to read it yourself to find out what happens.

Bognanni’s characters are a little out there and most of the situations are rather far-fetched (the youth minister’s daughter running an escort service from her bedroom window?), and if you are looking for some semblance of realism, then this isn’t the book for you.  Even if you aren’t looking for realism, this book isn’t quite “fantasy” enough to justify some of the character or plot decisions. But what the novel lacks in reality, it makes up for in heart.  Deep down, it is a very sweet story about growing up and discovering who you are. While it was sometimes hard to wrap my head around some parts, I did enjoy this book and it’s a fairly quick read, so I would recommend it for a nice sunny day when studying for that Econ midterm has got you seeing spots.

Rating:  3.5/5

Until next time, keep it nerdy.

– That Nerd Girl, Samantha Ryan