I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PUBLICATION: Candlewick Press, April 12th, 2016
Dan is sort of an outcast in his class. But even more so, his best friend Charlie is a know-it-all, smart mouthed outcast who is proud of it. Together, they get beat up. A lot. When Dan comes home from school one day to find his mother introducing him to yet another boyfriend, he thinks he's seen this picture before. However, Hank isn't her boyfriend - he's her fiance. And as a birthday gift, she books a trip to the middle-of-nowhere wilderness for both of them to get to know each other. After pleading his case, Charlie comes along too and together they hatch a plan so devious and so hilarious, that will send Hank running far, far away.
In today's society, people use the letters "LOL" to indicate that they are laughing out loud but in most cases, they aren't. Maybe they snicker, smile, or even exhibit absolutely no change in facial stature, but when I type LOL for this book, I mean it. This book has everything you could want: fast-paced, gut-wrenchingly funny, and characters that you just can't help but fall in love with. Calame is a screen-writer who helped write the movie, "Employee of the Month", and this book reads just like a movie. Never a dull moment in this novel as Dan and Charlie hatch the most hare-brained ideas of how to scare away Hank. From talking about small genitals, to copious amounts of self-love, to shooting Hank in the leg, this book is a no holds barred, whirlwind of a read.
However, as stated above, this book is listed as "Teens/YA" but personally, the material was a bit more adult in my opinion for an average teenager to read. Language and adult content abound, so if you're 18+, enjoy. My personal favorite was the TSA agent screening what Dan and Charlie tried to sneak in their bags for their flight to the wilderness. Again, an LOL moment. My wife gave me a strange look when I didn't stop laughing.
The ending was very nicely tied together too. I don't want to ruin whether or not their plan succeeds and Hank leaves Dan and his mom alone, but suffice to say, stick with this book and it won't disappoint from beginning, middle, and end.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.