Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Six Impossible Things - Fiona Wood

The Facts
Author: Fiona Wood
Published: Pan Macmillan Australia
Date of Publication: September 2010
Length: 244 pages

The Fiction
From the Publisher: 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...

Oh my goodness, I can’t say enough how much I adored this book (seriously, prepare for some major gushing ahead). Six Impossible Things is such a charming and quirky Australian young-adult novel and I’m going to give you six reasons why you all should read it!

1. Dan Cereill is such a lovely character – he’s this wonderful mix of awkward, gawky boy-ness and at the same time, I feel like he’s a bit of an old soul. He comes out with some absolute gems and you feel every moment of his embarrassment, awkwardness and triumph throughout the book. Fiona Wood has created such an authentic, likeable voice in Dan and honestly, you can’t help but love him.

2. Six Impossible Things also boasts an incredible cast of supporting characters – from the girl next door Estelle (who could have fallen into cliché, but doesn’t and is so awesome and even if you want to dislike her, you can’t. Also, I’d like to think that she would be friends with from Beatle Meets Destiny), to aspiring filmmaker and Estelle’s BFF, Janie Bacon. There’s also Hipster/trend predictor Oliver and his effortlessly cool girlfriend DJ Pony. I even loved Jayzo, because he was so much like a boy I used to know (I think everyone knows a Jayzo). Even really minor characters, like the Transposable girls were captured perfectly is such a short space.

3. It’s set in my beautiful city, Melbourne! There are lots of great references to places I know (which always makes me squee with excitement. I’m also now thinking that this would be something awesome to write further about, but I’ll hold this thought for now).

4. It is funny! This book made me laugh at loud (which is always slightly embarrassing on a packed train during peak hour) but so nice too. Fiona clearly has a brilliant sense of humour as this novel is effortlessly funny (sometimes in the oh-it’s-so-sad-all-we-can-do-is-laugh way). I guarantee you will have cracked a smile within the first ten pages.

5. As well as being charming and funny, Six Impossible Things deals with very real teen experiences and does so in a sensitive way. I also enjoyed the way Fiona plays incorporates aspects of fairy tales into a very contemporary story (I wish I had been clever enough to pick up on it earlier, but Dan Cereill is an anagram of Cinderella , though alas I had to read about it elsewhere first).

6. This is Fiona’s debut novel (amazing! 2010 has been such a great year for Australian YA fiction) and I am now eagerly awaiting her next project. Now go forth and read Six Impossible Things!


littlegirlwithabigpen said...

I think your fourth point here was the point that really made this book for me. It was hilarious! It didn't second-guess its readers at any stage, and that's so lacking from all the YA novels I've read previously... Looking forward to more from Fiona Wood in future!

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Great review. I am actually reading this now.

Nomes said...

awesome job reviewing this! i know, how funny is it? it makes all the other books I've read recently pale in comparison. i keep reading and thinking, "i haven't smiled one for this whole book!"

the more i think about this book, the more I love it!

kate.o.d said...

love it.

Girl Friday said...

Sam - Totally agree - and yes, would love to read more from Fiona in the (hopefully not-so-distant) future

Nic - Yay Nic, hope you're enjoying it!

Nomes - thanks Nomes! I definitely agree - even on my second and third reading I was picking up more things that made me laugh.

Kate - Yay, me too!

Anonymous said...

i actually cried a lot at the finish lol

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