The Compulsive Move by Phillip Cornell is a book about choices and dreams. Kevin is a 19-year-old man living in St. Louis. He works in the stockroom of a shoe store, and although he is great at his job, he feels like he is meant for so much more. His dream of moving to Chicago seems within reach, if he could just find the money to do so. Kevin is not interested in his family or close friends knowing his plan. He doesn’t want anyone to tell him he can’t do it. In order for Kevin to make enough money, he and his friend begin to host parties. Within the novel, Kevin goes into great detail about what it takes to be a successful host of a party. He explains categories, venues, who to invite, and how to keep a good reputation, and eventually, how to make money. A few parties go well for Kevin and his friend, and his goal seems in reach.
Then Kevin and his friends take a road trip to Chi town, and although Kevin is enamored with the city, his friends aren’t as impressed. The trip takes some unexpected turns and leaves Kevin questioning if a move to Chicago is right for him or if he should stay near his family and the only life he has ever known in St. Louis.
Throughout this short novel, it is evident that Kevin is tired of treading water in life. He wants to look toward the future, but worries regarding his mom and girlfriend hold him back. Kevin seems determined to achieve his goal of making a change, despite having to go through college applications, a robbery, and his mom’s car accident. The book is not very long, and many important details are revealed quickly in a small space. The author leaves the reader with the feeling that Kevin will continue to search for happiness. By the end, he’s happy with his new love life; he’s ambitious; but readers will have to see if he can follow through with his plan.
The Compulsive Move is a realistic story, however there were quite a few writing errors. The voice of the author and the engaging thoughts of Kevin may intrigue some readers. Struggle breeds strength and character, and Kevin is learning that as he goes through life.