Wanted to like Paranoid Park. Really, really did, because there are so few good skateboarding books out. I ignored the talk at the beginning about the main character's friend wanting to get laid, but when the main character and his girlfriend have a little fling, I thought "Was this gratuitous, or did it really advance the plot?" Came down on the side of gratuitous. More could have been said instead about the other trauma in the boy's life. An interesting moral tale, but ultimately, one that failed me. Sigh.
Looked on this author's web site blakenelsonbooks.com, and no longer feel too bad. I actually do feel somewhat bad when a book is good but I just can't bring myself to buy it. I no longer feel too bad. This is what Nelson says about another of his books, User, which would no doubt be popular with the students because of the title alone:
Another adult book. This is my sex and drugs book. Lots of sex. Lots of drugs. I wanted it that way. Not much plot. No sentimental scenes. Just these two hipster guys who are sort of idiots, getting wasted and trying to get some girl action. Lots of people like this one for it's porn value.