Based on the film written and directed by Jonathan Levine, Dale C. Phillips translates the stench, sounds and heat of New York City during the summer of 1994 from the big screen to the page in The Wackness. Social misfit Luke Shapiro spends his days dealing pot, listening to the Notorious B.I.G. and pining away for his classmate, Stephanie.

The film won the Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year, and the book presents Luke’s story in a way that makes it easy to relate to as well. You feel Luke’s frustration as he copes with his ever-bickering parents, his growth as he forms an unexpected bond with Stephanie’s stepfather, Dr. Squires, and ultimately his heartbreak when Stephanie tells him, “I see the dopeness in everything, and you just see the wackness.”

Grade: B

The Wackness is currently available.