Party School Review


Picture taken by Hallema Bakhda

Hallema Bakhda

Party School” is a Young Adult novel written by Jon Hart. It follows the protagonist, Dylan Mills, a relatable high school senior who does the bare minimum. Dylan is set to go to a ‘party school,’ rather than the Ivy School (which doesn’t deserve to be called by its name) his girlfriend, Rosemary, is going to. With the couple going to different schools, Rosemary suggests they take a break to meet new people. The last thing Dylan wants is to meet new people; he barely likes the people he already knows. But, being the people-pleaser he is, Dylan agrees. As scandal follows Rosemary’s family, she runs back to Dylan. However, the ‘party school’ has changed Dylan, and he is not certain if he wants Rosemary back. 

“Party School” does an excellent job of showing the life and thoughts of teenagers who are smart, but don’t feel the motivation to apply themselves. The book tugs at your heartstrings, while still being humorous. It involves heartache that ultimately leads to life lessons, which happens often with life obstacles.   Hart wrote both difficult decisions and characters almost anyone can relate to. When reading this book, you’ll be crying from laughter and pain and hoping it doesn’t end. 

Hart described how he got into writing for the humor of it, saying, “I appreciate humor, and writing is a way to use this muscle.” While attending college, Hart wrote articles about rugby that gave him a feeling of completeness. Later in life, he was asked to write “about little-known stuff in the sports world.” He accepted, but while doing this, he didn’t feel the same way he did when writing the rugby articles. 

He decided to follow a different approach than he previously had, and wrote a comedy surrounding college—but this college story was going to be different from the others. All the ‘it schools’ had been written about excessively. Hart figured he would write about the schools and kids that didn’t get the same amount of attention and love as these ‘it schools.’ According to Hart, the hardest part of writing is starting. Once he overcame this, he knew he could do anything. “There was plenty of doubt from myself, as well as from just about everyone else. But when something clicked, it was exhilarating. It’s the same feeling I got when I was writing those funny little rugby articles.” He continued writing, and “Party School” was born. 

As this school year ends, make sure to add “Party School” to your summer reading list. College and high school students could enjoy the fact the book doesn’t shy away from the pressures that constantly surround students.