Snapshot Reviews: Swim the Fly by Don Calame

Swim the Fly by Don CalameSwim the Fly is a lot of fun and a refreshing change of pace in the YA market.  While this is most definitely a ‘boy’s book’, its one that girls and adults can also appreciate and enjoy. Matt, Coop and Sean’s summer goal is to finally see a girl naked, but Matt is also determined to impress a girl called Kelly. Naturally, the only way to do this is by volunteering to swim the 100-yard butterfly. Needless to say, nothing goes according to plan and ridiculous hilarity ensues.

If you’re not a fan of toilet humor, this probably isn’t the book for you. For the most part I was torn between horror and hysterics. By all accounts, Calame appears to have pretty much nailed the inner workings of the adolescent boy – perhaps a little too well (there’s only so much time in a teenage boy’s head I can take). Yes, some parts were a little over the top, but Swim the Fly, while as gross and cringe-worthy at times as you might imagine, has some surprisingly heart-warming moments as well.

*Many thanks to Templar for providing a copy for review *

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

The cover is probably my favourite thing about this book.

Not that this a bad book – I think it deserves all the rave reviews. Its definitely one of the better cancer books I’ve read about a child dying (though why I keep picking these up I don’t know), as it avoids the horrible, saccharine, cliches you normally come across in these types of books *coughJohnGreencough*. It also has some very funny moments.

The truth is, I found being in Greg’s head a weird mixture of amusing, annoying, dull and tedious… which I think was kind of the point.

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

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