Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on the girl next door.
His life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things…
This book was cute. I enjoyed it! It’s another one of those Australian slice-of-life books, but it felt rather earnest and plausible. There was a good touch of irony, some interesting insights to every day life, and a bunch of shenanigans in good fun.
I’m glad how things progressed slowly. Of course, a bunch of things changed right at the start of the book (and that was the point). But after that, all the changes were gradual. They’d build up like events IN REAL LIFE, and before you know it, everything is different. For example, I loved watching Dan get through the awkward, gawky stages of puberty and become comfortable in his own skin. Oliver seems like an awesome dude, and a great male mentor for Dan. Watching Dan grow and make friends was so rewarding.
Dan’s mother went through a crazy journey, but I’m glad we got to see her get through her troubles too. She could’ve wallowed in her pain, but she tried her best to move on from life. It’s always great to see people get saved by their friends, their work, their relationships, and other people in the community. People handle things differently, and it’s great to see people who brave the storm (as opposed to the melodramatic ones or those who can’t get up in the morning after facing adversity.
I liked all the side characters. There were a lot of little things that got pointed out that made me nod for their realistic qualities. For example, it’s so true that teens vehemently disagree to get matched up by parents, but are quick to trust their friends recommendations… even when they wind up the same! Hah! Also, I can’t believe there was someone named Uyen Nguyen (and I know people with that name)! Hah! The bullying was definitely extreme, but I’m glad how that got patched up by the end too. The subject matter of this book, as a whole, could have been so deep, dark, and angst-ridden. I’m glad it was a quick, funny read instead.
- Slice – Steven Herrick
- My Life in Outer Space – Melissa Keil
- Winger – Andrew Smith