Thursday, June 30, 2011
The Year Nick McGowan Came To Stay by Rebecca Sparrow
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Hill is the girl most likely to succeed. And the girl most likely to have everything under control . . . that is, until her dad invites Nick McGowan, the cutest boy at school, to live with them. Rachel worries that this could only be a recipe for disaster, but her best friend Zoe thinks it’s the perfect opportunity for lurve. Sparks start to fly for all the wrong reasons. Nick finds Rachel spoiled and uptight and Rachel dismisses Nick as lazy and directionless. But a secret from Nick’s past draws them together and makes the year Nick McGowan came to stay one that Rachel will never forget.
I love how almost all the Aussie YA's I've read have open endings~ I love the possibility those endings present. The year Nick McGowan Came to Stay is funny, with bits that were positively of embarrasing (particularly for her,) but most of all, it's sweet. Moments were absolutely side splitting; I'd laugh at how out of proportion things looked from her perspective. For one whom I thought to be level headed, she sure came across as a drama queen!
She's in Year twelve and has to focus. She thinks herself plain especially when next to her striking best friend Zoe. Not that that's a problem, she's perfectly fine with how things are, knows what she wants and how to get them. Things change when Nick McGowan has to stay the year. her self-consciuos self shows itself with a vengeance! She starts changing her musical taste to make herself seem a little bit more cool; then she starts seeing an imaginary boyfriend, aka Paul (Snuffy.) Not only does she become quite self conscious, she also could not fathom the need for him to stay with them in the first place. So while simultaneuosly trying to look cool and figure out why he's in her home, she pieces togther a bunch of theories that have him coming out in her (and in every other girl's) imagination as cute, hunky but troubled and maybe even suicidal. But the best part? It wasn't angsty and that's even after all his issues surfaced! It stayed sweet and fun. Yes, he wasn't perfect, but neither was she (as seen from pages one, onward!)
Another bonus is the setting: It's 1980-something, and I totally got a kick at what she described as popular and cool. Normally I find name dropping annoying, this time around I thought it added something special. I enjoyed her descriptions of their "cool" clothes, ultrabig shoulder pads, stone washed jeans, and puff skirts. Her references to some of what was popular was also cute: Phil Collins, the Eurythmics and even the Bangles, the Ramones too. And the shows she mentioned like Knots Landing and Twenty One Jump Street! While these referencs to these things added just a little extra something , the book really was about Rachel and Nick.
So what's to love?
A set of MC's who aren't too angsty but definitely quirky,
A setting that's different from the norm,
And an ending that leaves much to look forward to.