May 26, 2011

Book Review: The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan

The Year
At First Sight: After her sister Debbie drops the bombshell that she's marrying her boyfriend of one month, things start to get a little crazy for fourteen year old Gemma Stone. 

She's asked to be a flower girl at the wedding, and to wear a swan costume. She gets asked by her crush to audition for the school play - even though she's sure that he otherwise doesn't know who she is, and if she famously throws up when she has to speak in public - and catches the eye of Raven, one of the De Head boys. 

The De Heads are infamous in Gemma's little suburb. Once Mr. De Head blew up the fountain commemorating town's founder; the whole family is considered delinquents in training, and the boys are all named after birds - Crow, Magpie, Raven, Robin and Sparrow.

Everything comes together in the time leading to her sister Debbie's animal themed wedding. Everything... even heartbreak.

Second Glance: Otherwise know as My Big Birkett, The Sweet, terrible, glorious year I truly, Completely Lost It wasn't exactly the book I expected it to be. I'm actually not sure what I expected if I'm to be completely honest. I liked Gemma from the start, she's funny and a very fluid narrator, but I wasn't entirely in love with the story.

I liked Raven when he first showed up, he is one of those characters that exude attitude, but I didn't like Nick - Gemma's crush - for example. Jody, Gemma's best friend, was fun but not that developed, and so on. So the book felt a little uneven at times.

Bottom Line: Not my favorite Aussie read of the year so far, but a nice book all the same.

Favorite Quote: "In my family, when anyone rides the wave of their emotions, we say they're chucking a birkett. When the emotion drives out all common sense, we say they're chucking a big one. The telltale signs are: flaming cheeks, shortness of breath, bulging eyes and a prolonged illogical outburst."

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