Thursday, September 29, 2011
The Sweet, Terrible ,Glorious Year I Completely Lost it by Lisa Shanahan
Good Reads Summary
IN MY FAMILY, when anyone rides the wave of their emotions, we say they're chucking a birkett. When the emotion drives out all common sense, we say they're chucking a big one. The telltale signs are: flaming cheeks, shortness of breath, bulging eyes, and a prolonged illogical outburst.
Gemma Stone is convinced that it's always unseemly to chuck a birkett and that it's actually insane to chuck one in front of a complete stranger. But that was before she fell for a boy who barely knows she exists, before she auditioned for the school play, before she met the family of freaks her sister Debbie is marrying into, before the unpredictable Raven De Head took an interest in her, and before she realized that at the right time and for the right reason, a birkett could be a beautiful thing.
It’s sweet, cute and ridiculously over the top. Her family is so out there that it’s a wonder Gemma didn’t throw more fits (or “birketts” as she calls them) than she did. The characters are absolutely darling though, and Gemma, the most darling of all. The best thing (and worse thing) about her, is how aware she was. She knew precisely who her family was and what they could be. She was also perfectly aware of how she could act and what she ought not do. The sad thing was despite this knowing, she could behave just as atrociously as others did!
As to what she thought of her family, I loved how they came across…outrageously hilarious and sometimes impossibly insane… what with her sister’s bride-zilla impersonation and her father’s inability to put a sock in it. Yet, there was an obvious affection that tied them together. There had to be an affection, for I simply do not know what would have convinced her to wear a swan get-up as the flower girl despite being 14!
Of course there’s the young girl side of her… crushes and all that, that had me a little swoony. Even this part of her I enjoyed. She’s hopelessly shy, but was crushing on Nick.. it’s this that gets her to audition for a part in a play. And it’s here that she got to know who was “real” and who was not.
Then there’s Raven. It’s Raven’s part of the story that brought out the swoony girly-girl in me, but at the same time had me blinking some tears back because it’s his side of the story that’s tinged with the sad. (I don’t think I have read an Aussie book without a hint of sad in it…)
While a good deal of it is over the top and funny (all care of Gemma,) there’s a sad bit that stems from a not so perfect family (Raven’s.) Goodness me! I really enjoyed this one even though I feel like I could have had an ending that was a bit more stretched out…