The Loner; Teddy Wayne
Simon & Schuster - 2016
The Loner is a story that has a few of my favorite elements: coming of age story, academic setting and a quirky protagonist.
David Federman is a Harvard freshman from New Jersey who has always struggled a bit to fit in. In high school he struggled to fit in and he's hoping for a fresh start here at Harvard. He's quirky, however, and sees himself as superior to others (unwarranted of course) so making friends at Harvard proves difficult as well.
Early on he becomes infatuated, almost obsessed really, with Veronica a worldly, popular girl from Manhattan who resides in his dorm. His early interest soon finds him waiting for her in places he expects her to be and even writing papers for her to get her to like. Things soon take an obsessive and dangerous turn.
David Federman is an interesting character study. He lacks empathy and self-awareness, a dangerous combination and, when the tables turn and David sees the other side of Veronica and her personal agenda, the misfit shows us just how unstable he really is.
This was a very different and unsettling story. I felt a sense that things would go very bad very fast and they did. I liked the jarring ending as well.