Jonathan LaPoma

Author / Screenwriter

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#2 Bestseller in Sports Fiction on Amazon UK and Australia

A group of troubled but charismatic boys in a tough Buffalo, NY neighborhood play basketball at a local park and dream of winning a state high school championship. Driven by raw talent and killer instinct, they dominate the court, but everywhere else, they feel like losers.

HAMMOND is told through the eyes of James Lombardi, a precocious but mentally ill boy who believes winning a championship will ease his “Evil Thoughts” and save his family, long haunted by generations of substance abuse, uncontrollable rage, and suicide.

A dark but humorous coming-of-age novel, HAMMOND offers a poetic and disturbing look inside the complex mind of an adolescent boy as he slowly learns that having the heart of a champion can sometimes be more burden than blessing.



-#1 Hot New Release in Sports Fiction and #8 Hot New Release in Coming of Age Fiction on Amazon Australia

-#2 Bestseller in Sports Fiction on Amazon UK and Australia

-#3 Bestseller in Sports Fiction on Amazon Canada

“Earnest . . . Compelling . . . successfully captures the anger, frustration, and freedom of kids on the brink of adulthood.”

Kirkus Reviews, Recommended Review

“Succeeds on many levels . . . laudable.

-Mark Heisey, The US Review of Books

“Lingers in the mind far after its conclusion . . . a revealing standout . . . powerful, introspective view of an evolving (and, sometimes, devolving) young man.”

Diane Donovan, California Bookwatch

“This is the book that marks Jonathan LaPoma as my favorite underrated author . . . truly a masterpiece of the coming-of-age genre. My biggest hope for this book is that it gets the attention it deserves.”

-Audrey L, Netgalley Reviewer

“As raw and unfiltered as any coming-of-age book I have ever read . . . lingers in the mind long after finishing it, and I for one am looking forward to reading more from LaPoma in the future.”

-Edwin Howard, Netgalley Reviewer

“The characters are well structured and the plot is thick, making Hammond a great book for those looking for a read that takes you into a whole other world (so to speak).”

-Keirstin Smith, Netgalley Reviewer

“The author did a great job with characterization and voice . . . drama and angst . . . I RECOMMEND the book to read.”

-Yawatta Hosby, Author of One By One

“Jonathan LaPoma is one of the best authors I have come across. He makes it a point to stir the emotions in your heart you never knew existed…The writing is poetic, lyrical and anything you associate with the word “melody”…flawless ending…I give Hammond a perfect 5 stars.”
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Barnes & Noble Press Presents pick, February/March 2018

The summer after graduating from college, 22-year-old Danny Wolinski takes a cross-country US road trip with his friend, Ian Perez, hoping to find the inspiration to reach his songwriting potential, start a band, and avoid student teaching in the fall.

Danny is tormented by intense physical and psychological pain and sees music as his only relief, but the more he searches for this inspiration in an America filled with endless parties, heavy drugs, and lost souls, the more he questions whether it exists.

A deeply disturbing and psychological coming-of-age novel, THE SUMMER OF CRUD explores the complexities of friendships, masculinity, sex, mental illness, and addiction, and shows how the quest to unlock one’s creativity can both inspire and destroy a person.

Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist, 2018

Barnes & Noble Press Presents list selection, February/March 2018

-Amazon Hot New Release (UK)

“A slender, fast-paced, fever-dreamed excursion . . . undeniably addictive.”

Kirkus Reviews, Recommended Review

“Like a bad trip–€filthy in all sorts of ways, yet weirdly endearing.”

-Yuliya Geikhman, US Review of Books

“Unique . . . extraordinary . . . A pot-smoking, paradigm-changing journey that brings readers along for a wild ride . . .”

-Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Not a light read . . . LaPoma paints a gritty picture of struggling young adults, living moment to moment, overwhelmed by adulthood. Dan’s demons are present on every page and readers that suffer from anxiety or depression are likely to connect with his struggle for belonging and self-acceptance . . . Dan’s inner voice speaks loudly to the difficulty many face on life’s winding road.”

Red City Review

“A classic story destined to find its home in reading groups across the nation.”

-Lisa McCombs, Readers’ Favorite, 5 Stars

“I couldn’t help but recall my first impressions of Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine . . . We see past the golden sunlight to the street kids with their broken dreams, to the panhandling in the Haight and the ghost of Kurt Cobain haunting the streets of Seattle . . . Danny’s odyssey, his metaphorical Summer of Love, is both marred and enhanced by the reality of his physical condition and that of the world. At once unworldly and preternaturally wise, he sees past the trappings into a reality that is not entirely unexpected considering his life up to that point . . . most highly recommended.”

-Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite, 5 Stars

“Though The Summer of Crud is short, MAN is it deep! This narrative is chock full of harsh observances of human nature and insecurity . . . One of those books that is so full of incredible quotes that rather than sharing a few I might as well just give anyone a copy of the book and say “Here, read this; I really love it . . . like The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s grungy older brother.”

-Audrey L, Netgalley Reviewer

“Definitely weird, but enjoyably so . . . A daring piece of work.”

-Marjorie H, Books & Tea Cups

“Disturbingly deep, hypnotizing. I couldn’t stop reading it even if I wanted.”

Atiqah M, Bookmarks & Blue Light

“A thoughtful, well-written book, short, sweet and straight to the point . . . Not for the faint hearted . . . The ending was good – simple, real and convincing.”

-Cyan Night, Goodreads Reviewer

“Takes adventure and art to a whole other level . . . He gets into some deep shit and it will hit you . . . it really reached a part of my soul that’s hard to get to . . . You have to read this.”

-Ash the Bookworm

“Twisted enough to be intriguing, but not so much that it’s a turnoff . . . A deep, unique, extremely well-presented narrative of self-awareness while declining into mental illness.”
Book Bangs
Add The Summer of Crud as a book "To Read" on your Goodreads shelf

The Summer of Crud
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