Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: ARC Swim The Fly

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Templar Publishing (1 Jun 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1848774532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848774537

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time. But this mission impossible starts to look easy in comparison to Matt's other challenge: to swim the 100-yard butterfly and impress the gorgeous Kelly West.

I was recently given the opportunity to receive an advanced review copy of Swim the Fly by Don Calame. The blurb spoke of a YA novel for boys, full of laughs and surprising heart. I found a lot more in this book; a complex message hidden beneath glib dialogue and teenage drama.

This book is a must for any lover of the genre. It is a sure hit for boys, with characters they will no doubt be able to relate to and situations familiar. For the female persuasion, the book is a unique chance to peer into the inner workings of the teenage boy. And ladies, this is an invaluable opportunity.

The character of Matt is a sweet one, sincere if not a little misguided. With friends, Coop and Sean, Matt goes through a summer of firsts. The first girl he gets seriously interested in, the first strains of a previously unstrained friendship, the realisations that sometimes the truth is the better way, and of course, the determination to spot their first naked girl.

This book was reminiscent of American Pie. Horn-dog teenage boys and a sure-to-be catastrophic pact makes the story comic gold. I laughed out loud numerous times during this read, caught myself wrinkling my nose in disgust and inching closer to the pages as the male psyche had me intrigued.

It answered a lot of the age-old questions about boys: do they really think about sex THAT much? Are they really THAT disgusting? Do they really think THAT’S what it takes to get a girl? The answers are endless, but heed this warning well, not all the answers are ones we want!

What surprised me about this book was the big, beating heart at its centre.  I was warned about the softer side, but being primarily a book about three teenagers determined to get their first glimpse of a naked girl, I figured, hot soft could it be? Turns out, pretty soft. There was no mush, but a softer side nonetheless. It isn’t shoved in your face, more like lies underneath the surface, gently whispering what you realise you actually knew all along.

No matter your age or sex, you will go on a journey of discovery with Matt as he figures out not everyone will react the way you expect them to, and how to look beyond what was in front of you all along.

The hair-brained and disastrous schemes will have you rolling around in your seat, the cringe-worthy moments making you feel so mortified it was as if it was happening to you. But the happy moments will light a little warm fire in your belly that not even a thug like Tony Grillo can put out.  



Anonymous said...

I purchased this a few days ago. I look forward to reading it.

Wench Writers said...

I hope you like it, I really enjoyed this book. I'm liking YA from male perspectives more and more. Pxx

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