I only made it to the half-way mark of this novel, so bear that in mind, but I had read enough.
'Me & Mr. Cigar' is a ya novel about a genius rich kid who has a dog with supernatural powers. There is a prologue that covers his childhood and the story moves on to his approaching the end of high school and his establishment as a promoter of drug-fueled dance parties. Eventually cutting-edge tech and government spooks get involved.
The question of whether or not a ya book should be about a bored rich kid throwing drug parties for profit is appropriate is not the question here. I don't care. If a kid is in a position to be influenced by a novel to go into the drug-party business, all the power to him, I guess.
My issue is the poor characterization, plot development, indifferent imagery, the verbage.... Do they think by marketing it as a 'surreal' novel they'll bypass any criticism? I'm sure the novel was going somewhere with his sister's abduction and the government wanting the insect-based tech and magical dog power for itself, but this wasn't for me. The cover art was interesting, and I had a lot of Butthole Surfers in my stereo in college, and I thought that would be enough to get me in.
It wasn't. I'm sure Mr. Haynes will excuse me. I honestly think this was a case of a manuscript being shipped over to the teen market after being rejected by adult imprints, because, against all evidence to the contrary, someone thinks kids are more likely to swallow this kind of thing.