I want to say something before I go any further with this review: I didn't like school. I don't look back on my secondary school years with love. Actually, I prefer to pretend those years didn't exist (though, not my college years. I actually quite like those years). So, when I get books which are "Secondary/High School" book (no magic, vampires, mystery, horror), I usually stay away from them.
So, why haven't I ran away from this book screaming? Well, two reasons. First, I became friends with the author, Tom Clempson, on twitter and after readng a really random tweet of his which made me burst into laughter, I thought the book would be brilliant. And second, Rhys from Thirst For Fiction read and praised the book VERY HIGHLY on Twitter and his GoodReads. Over the past few months, I have discovered that Rhys and I have very similar taste in books and seeing his reaction to Jack Samsonite, I had high hopes.
So, the book. Our hero - Jack Samsonite - has a mission. First, to pass his GCSEs. Second, to win the girl of his dreams (who barely knows he exists!). And third, to survive the week without getting his face punched in. Well, the good thing he has a plan... well, I say plan, it's kinda half of a plan... well, I say half a plan, what I mean is...
Now, I feel very lucky. Atom Books (the UK publishers) have sent this to me and a few other bloggers this book TWO MONTHS before its published and in bookshops (it's out in early June 2011). So, yeah, I had to get excited. And when Atom say it's like Adrian Mole meets the Inbewteeners (I haven't read or seen either of these - PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!!!), so of course, high hopes.
Now, can I say this? This book has one of the longest (and maybe stupidest) titles known to man or beast - One Seriously Messed Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane & Uneventful Life of JACK SAMSONITE (can you say that in one breath?) - barring, maybe, Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Crackling Stump (which is featured in The Tales of Beedle The Bard by JK Rowling). But it sounds like something a teenager would call his essay.
It is crude. The language and the jokes are crude - very teenage boy - so some people may not like it. So, if you get easily offended, you might not want to read this book. Also, I found it odd to read it. I read it in chucks rather than in one huge go or reading it on the correct days (some of you must do this. Read Monday on Monday, read Tuesday on Tuesday, read Wednesday on Wednesday, etc). But I think I did this because I didn't like school much.
With all that said, this was one of the funniest books I have read in a while. And with the introduction written after the week's event (so you know VAGUELY where it was going to end, although no idea HOW), it had moments of thriller-type books in there. But it is a comedy book, and there were things I laughed and other times I cringed and remembered the other kids in my class (who were either cooler than I was or people who made life not pleasant) doing or saying thpse things. So, very close to the bone, but funny. Very funny. Keep your eyes peeled on this author, chaps!
Now, as you guys know, with every book I read and review on the blog, I like to add a song or two to it. Songs that relate or I listened to while reading. But, Jack Samsonite has kinda stumped it. I listened to loads of music while reading this (and the book mentions the Killers and Muse), but nothing feels right. And, from my comments on Goodreads, the only music I reference was music used in the Grey's Anatomy: Music Event episode... so, yeah... sorry about that!