Saturday, February 21, 2015

Half of My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets, by J. A. Buckle

In some ways, Josh is a pretty normal sixteen year-old.  He'd like to have a girlfriend, his Mom drives him nuts, and he has an annoying older sister.  But as a metal head with a pet ferret (named Ozzy), he is also a bit unusual and quirky.  As his seventeen birthday approaches, he's made a list of things he'd like to do, including being kissed, learning to play Metallica's "One," seeing Finnish death metal band Children of Bodom in concert, owning a real guitar, getting a piercing, or being as cool as his father was.  But with no luck with girls, a single mother with "financial difficulties," and a father who died when he was little, Josh doesn't hold out much hope for success with any of these goals.

It's a funny and fast paced romp through Junior year for a group of boys in what is a surprisingly sensitive approach for a boy book (obviously, trying to appeal to young female readers as well).  There is the requisite gross-out/fart joke/girl-ogling/penis references, but Josh is a good kid and tends to do the right thing, even as he and his friends also do a large amount of putting their feet in their mouths.  I'm not a huge fan of the sub-genre, but this book was a fast read and enjoyable.  In fact, I was a little surprised that the author (a woman from England) was so effective at writing about life as a boy from New York.

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