Title: Notes From The Blender
Author: Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin
Released: May 24, 2011
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 240 (U.S./Canada hardcover)
Rating: 8.4/10 (Great!)
"Declan loves death metal--particularly from Finland. And video games--violent ones. And internet porn--any kind, really. He goes to school with Neilly Foster and spends most of his classroom time wondering what it might be like to know her, to talk to her, maybe even to graze against her sweater in the hallway. Neilly is an accomplished gymnast, naturally beautiful, and a constant presence at all the best parties (to which Declan is never invited). She's the queen of cool, the princess of poker face, and her rule is uncontested-- or it was until today, when she's dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her former BFF Lulu, and then informed she's getting a new brother--of the freaky fellow classmate variety. Declan's dad is marrying Neilly's mom. Soon. Which means they'll be moving in together."This book isn't just quirky and funny. It's full of emotions and awkwardness and family and lessons about life and sarcasm and witty jokes and is a total roller coaster ride, which is basically what it's like to be a teenager.
Notes From The Blender is written in two alternating perspectives, which I personally loved. Every other chapter is written by either Declan or Neilly, which is awesome because we get to hear the equally funny voices of Declan, a sarcastic, hormonal teenage boy, and Neilly, a typical "popular" girl who is surprisingly witty and likeable. Though the characters are opposite of each other, the two authors' styles of writing are similarly quirky and charming. There is quite a bit of foul language. Some people don't like it, but I actually thought it made the characters more realistic. There's also quite a bit of sex talk, but hey, we're talking about teenagers here.
This book also has quite a bit of meaning. The family aspect of the story is totally comedic, but it' also emphasizes the importance of family. I also loved the inclusion of the gay parents and the all-accepting church, both of which taught a lesson about love and acceptance.
Declan and Neilly both seem like teenage stereotypes, but in reality, they each have surprising amounts of emotional depth. Their experiences with family, friends and life are challenging but fun. Above all, they're relatable, which is what makes this book totally awesome for teenagers (or those who are just mentally teenaged).
You might like Notes From The Blender if you:
- like comedy
- enjoy reading books with multiple points of view
- don't mind swearing
- are comfortable with sexual subjects (no sex scenes here, but there is quite a bit of sex talk from Declan's point of view)
- can relate to teenage awkwardness