Author: Dave Hackett
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: August 10th to 11th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Thank you to University of Queensland Press for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.
The Summer of Kicks is perfect if you are looking for a fun, light read and a rare glimpse inside the mind of a teenage boy. Starrphyre Jones, despite his extraordinary name, is just an ordinary 16 year old with a crush on Candace McAllistar, like all the other guys at his school. As summer approaches, he decides this is when he’s finally going to do something about it. And to make this happen, he talks his talentless, somewhat nerdy friends into starting a band. What he doesn’t bargain for is somehow getting a job at a record store while trying to recruit a guitarist, meeting a girl who is not as beautiful as Candace but who actually notices him, and dealing with his new roommate, his sister’s boyfriend Warren the Tool. The Summer of Kicks is an entertaining read that simultaneously made me groan and made me grin.
I found the look into the mind of a teenage boy’s mind interesting – especially because it was all over the place! Starrphyre is just a confused guy trying to navigate the world of first kisses, relationships and a dysfunctional family. He’s just making it up as he goes along and second guessing his choices a lot. He doesn’t know everything and he is not at all perfect. His mistakes are going to make you cringe as you watch him chase his tail and try to fix things. Even when he’s messing up, his charm is endearing and you can tell he’s trying to do good! His good intentions just get a little convoluted in his quest to please everyone and work out what he himself wants.
I liked the supporting cast of characters, particularly his three friends who couldn’t be less interested in being in a band, as well as the elusive Scene, ex-rocker Dad, sex therapist Mum, the sweet Ellie, even crazy Mikayla. I only wish they could have been fleshed out a little more. But I really enjoyed seeing them through Starrphyre’s eyes, and even was amused by the crazy connections between them all revealed in the end. I must admit I shook my head a bit, but overall this was a really fun read with funny moments as well as heartwarming ones.