Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It is not exactly pleasant to wake up one day and find out that:
- your father has declared himself gay and ditched you and your mother;
- your dad's business has gone bankrupt and you and your mother are on your own without a penny to your names;
Add to that the fact that your house has been taken over by creditors along with furniture, clothes, personal belongings, EVERYTHING. You have to leave your good, private school, your friends, and swallow the bitter humiliation.
This is what happens to Dan and his mom. They would have probably ended up like bums on a road if, unexpectedly, mom's old aunt Adelaide hadn't died of old age and left them with the use of her huge house/museum.
Dan has to face a new school, new friends and new "broke" status, as well as his blooming obsession with Estelle, a girl who lives next door. All this while his mom desperately tries to start a new job to make to make ends meet and put the pieces of her life back together.
Dan is 14 going on 40. This book and I, because of him, were off to a bit of a bumpy start.
First, I had difficulties relating to his boy's voice.
Then I had difficulties with him being so young.
Then I had difficulties with him being so old inside.
Then I had difficulties with him being such a hopeless loser and a dork, then with him being a liar.
And then, after about 70 pages in in the book, I realized I had no difficulties with him at all.
Dan is an amazing voice, with a great self-deprecating sense of humor, witty, extremely intelligent and so, so mature for his age. He finds himself in a situation which would put to the test even an adult. It's not fair for a kid tormented by teen age and raging hormones to be burdened by so many responsibilities but Dan manages pretty well eventually. He completely conquered him and I ended up liking him a lot. He's so cute I want to ruffle his hair.
And not only him. The thing about this book is that I realized I liked all the characters, they are all so well portrayed, each with their own quirks. I wish I could be Dan's mom's friend. I wish I had a dog like Howard, with a psychotherapist look.
So don't be fooled by the girly cover or by the MC's young age. Ultimately, this book is about getting your shit together when you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, possibly with a bit a of a sense of humor.
Very funny, fresh, well written and just downright amiable, it will be hard to resist the charm of Six Impossible Things' cast of characters.
And if you're still in doubt, I forgot to mention this is Australian YA. Enough Said.
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