Friday, June 24, 2011

Notes From the Blender

Meet Declan: he loves death metal & violent video games, has a massive crush on a girl in school named Neilly, and lives alone with his dad.  Declan hates drugs and drinking because his mom was killed by a drunk & high driver.  Yet Declan blames himself because he forgot his shin guards for his soccer game six years ago, and if they had not gone back to the house to get them they wouldn't have been hit by that guy.  Or so he believes.

Meet Neilly: she's beautiful, popular, and she's just lost her boyfriend to her best friend in a span of fifteen minutes.  Neilly doesn't know Declan exists.  Her current situation full of ex's also leaves her dateless to her dad's commitment ceremony.

Meet Declan & Neilly's parents: they've been secretly dating for months and have just announced their engagement to their children.  Oh, and Neilly's mom is pregnant. And they're going to all move in together, in a new house.

Chapters are in first person, alternating between Declan (written by Brendan Halpin) and Neilly (written by Trish Cook).  The language is frank and exactly what you might hear if you were in the halls of your local high school.  This is the second book I have read with Halpin as a co-author (this being the first) and he still feels like the funnier, more authentic of the two writers.  While much of the book is rather wild, Declan's lingering grief over his mother's death and his struggle to face it is beautifully written and very touching.  Issues about sexuality, religion, and blended families (thus the title) definitely put this title with the mature crowd.  It won't be everyone's bowl of ice cream, but I know at least one person who can identify with parts of it and I bet there will be others.

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