Ray is a typical teenager just trying to get through high school and find something he enjoys. He spends most of his time playing video games by himself and crushing on a neighbor girl. Then his grandmother dies and everything gets turned upside down. Ray finds himself suddenly responsible for an entire trailer park and all that it entails.
I'm a big fan of coming of age stories and this one does not disappoint. What seventeen year old is ready to discuss the meaning of life? I certainly wasn't. Ray's search for understanding leads him on a hilarious and sometimes disgusting path towards enlightenment. The author does not shy away from the muck that is part of the daily grind of running a camp full of miners and misfits.
I have to say one of my favorite parts of the story was the pool iceberg. The simplest of problems can become overwhelming if we don't manage our expectations of them, including how long it takes for ice to melt once the weather warms up. The symbolism of this and Ray's interactions with Penny really warmed my heart.
There is a lot of depth to this story, family struggles, helping those in need, taking responsibility and of course growing up. Ray's family is an eclectic group of misfits who motivate him, intentionally and not, towards finding his meaning of life. You'll want to join in on this hilarious "spiritual" journey.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a fun coming of age story with a lot of heart.
this book is hilarious. It was Sister Michelle that set me off. She's a nun from a special order that protects holy relics or whatever else they're told to do by the church.
She's trained like someone on a Seal Team. But when one character called her "Battle Nun" I just about fell over laughing. I can just picture her in her body armor and habit!
This is fast paced and a helluva a lot of fun!
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell is very reminiscent of I Work in a Public Library which I reviewed early last year. Both books include true stories of interactions and incidents that occurred in places which feature books as the main attraction. Jen's book talks about people who are so improbably strange I don't know how they were let out of the house much less let loose in a bookstore. Also, Ripping Yarns is a confusing name for a bookstore so I don't know why it's that unusual that people calling to find out if they sold yarn was so kooky it deserved its own subsection. (A yarn is another name for a story and 'ripping' is a term like 'awesome' hence Ripping Yarns.) Some of the things that stuck out for me were the customers that didn't seem to understand what is actually sold in bookstores. No, you can't buy hardware materials in a bookstore. That would be a hardware store. There were some true LOL moments like the lady who came in and couldn't remember which Danielle Steel books her mom had/hadn't read and asked the bookseller if SHE knew. *face palm* The chapter on parents and kids especially reminded me of what it's like being a Children's Librarian (there are a lot of interesting interactions, ya'll). One thing that really surprised me were the number of people who would approach the desk and ask about possible jobs but would be super weird about it. For example, telling the bookseller that there job looked super easy and then asking if they were hiring. If you're looking for funny anecdotes about what it's like to work in the book trade then you couldn't get more spot on than this book. It's a quick book that you can dip in and out of when you're looking for a laugh or if you just want to check if it's not just you that get involved in super weird conversations with strangers. 8/10
A/N: With this review we've finally reached the books I read in December of last year. *crowds do the wave*
A taste of what awaits you inside the book. [Source: Buzzfeed]
What's Up Next: Scythe by Neal Shusterman
What I'm Currently Reading: Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey
I entered the giveaway for this book because I remember reading the Boy in the Striped Pajamas when I was in the 9th grade and crying like a little bitch so I was like I trust John Boyne to deliver another good book.
BOI DID HE.
I honestly didn't know what to expect from this book because the summary doesn't give anything away and I was like mehhhhh there is a small chance I might not like it. I'm glad I read it, maybe I wouldn't read this as often as I read some of my other books but there'll be one of those days where you're in one of those moods and I'll pick this up and read it again.
I think it's an important book, you don't see a lot of novels out there with gay characters, or one that go this in-depth into that character's life. And it talks a lot about the atrocities and struggles that gay people suffered in Ireland and perhaps still endure to this day (I can't say for sure as I'm not an expert on Ireland or even really keep up to date with Irish news). And the amount of detail that was gone into had me shook but I think that was mostly due to the fact that I've never read a book like this before.
I really liked Cyril as a character, he did some shady things throughout his time but considering the fact that the story is told from his point of view, it was pretty understandable. He's really funny, and sometimes makes really morbid jokes and then you find yourself laughing at what he says and thinking dear God does this make me a bad person for laughing. I liked the ways that he so openly made fun of certain people to their face and the clueless response from those people who hadn't picked up on the fact that he was mocking them.
Some of the shit happened to him was honestly so wild (view spoiler)
And you feel for Cyril, and it's kind of hard not to considering he's a gay man living in 60's Ireland. He struggles with his sexuality and his feelings, and he has a lot of realizations about himself when he meets Bastiaan. The relationship that he had with Maude and Avery was a very strange one but it appealed to me, they got along well, and to be honest his interactions with them were hilarious.
Maude was probably one of my favourite characters just because she was so out there and had the most inappropriate of reactions at the most inappropriate times.
And it brought me great happiness to see that in the end, Cyril had a large family that cared about him and that he was happy because damn it he deserved it for all of the shit that happened to him throughout his life.
TL;DR: Give this a book a shot, maybe you won't like it, but you probably will.