Friday, 8 June 2018

Book Review - Noah Could Never

I can't do cringe. I've said this before. I can't watch reality talent contests like Britain's Got Talent or The Voice/X Factor, as I just can't handle the people who think they can sing but can't - I cringe and get embarrassed on that person's behalf. I can't watch certain hidden camera shows due to certain elements. I can't watch certain comedy programmes or films due to the the tone of the humour. I just can't do cringe.

So, me wanting to be read this is a big contradiction. I mean, I read Noah Can't Ever last year (write-up for that is here, FYI) and I knew this sequel was going to make me cringe like heck, but I have been so excited to read this since finishing Noah Can't Even because it made me laugh. Do you know how rare it is for a book to make me laugh? I preordered a copy but Scholastic were super nice and sent me a copy of Noah Could Never for review. I squealed when I discovered it on my doormat and started reading it that very day (that's how excited I was!)

Noah and Harry are now dating. And now only is Noah trying to find his footing with what this could mean, a French exchange is happening and it includes the sexy and very gay Pierre Victoire, who might be having his eye on Harry, and Eva, a girl who dislikes Noah. And there are strangers beginning to follow Noah. Noah has no idea why - expect it could be his dad and half-brother doing something dodgy with his gran's fake diamonds OR that a drag queen is staying at his house due to a drag feud OR Noah maybe getting involved in a pyramid scheme linked to protein powder?

Can Noah get a break?

Yes, this book is cringe-worth - I knew that when I went in - but this is still hugely funny (maybe more so than Noah Can't Even, as I knew how Noah would react to certain things) and big hearted.

Ok, let's get the things I don't like out of the way first. Like I said, I can't do cringe that well and this book - no, this series - has a lot of cringe moments. If you don't like cringe, you might not like this. While there are a few cringe moments that made me want to curl up into a ball, there was a few I laughed at. The one that made me have the strongest reaction was on page 345, where I threw the book on the other side of the sofa then spent next ten or so minutes trying to uncurl my fingers and toes while going "MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!!"

Another thing I didn't warm to was the pyramid scheme storyline. Ok, I get it. I understand why it's here - it feeds into two/three other storylines - but whenever it cropped up, I just wanted to skim it. But seeing why Noah got involved and the fallout was really interesting, but I never warmed to this plot.

But I hugely enjoyed reading this. I read it in just under a week - that's fast for me. I enjoyed the humour in it and I enjoyed Noah trying to come to terms with everything (which, most of the time, was terrible and I wanted to shake him!). I hugely enjoyed a new character called Mike or, when "I got me hair on", Bambi Sugapops, and I hope that if there is a third book, Noah gets more of a relationship with Mike and Bambi.

And I liked how certain subjects are tackled. In this, Noah is worried about his relationship with Harry - is it going too fast or not fast enough - but also, he's worried about why Harry wants to be with him. He's worried that he's doesn't fit a gay template that he sees on the Internet and TV shows. That he's not jock or twink enough. And I get this - I struggled with this when I was coming to terms with my sexual identity and when I started dating. So the fact Simon talks about it and pokes fun at it is refreshing and makes Noah more relatable.

Maybe I cringed while reading this as Noah was me when I was in my teens. Only he's more extreme in his reactions than me...

Cringey, funny and big-hearted - I can't wait to see what Simon writes next.

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