Friday, February 4, 2011

[Review] Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

Title: Six Impossible Things
Author: Fiona Wood
Publication: 1st August 2010
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Price: $16.99 AU
Source: Bought (The Nile)
Age: 14+
Pages: 250
My Rating:

Fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he's narrowed it down to just six impossible things...

My thoughts: 

Six Impossible Things was unlike anything I've read before. It's astoundingly Aussie, witty, funny and was just such a delight to read. I am so glad that I took the plunge and bought this one, because it stands among one of my favourites of 2011, though to be fair I've only read a handful of books so far.

Six Impossible Things tells of a story about, well, six impossible things. So Dan Cereill has just had to endure a familial collapse, and has found himself at a new school away from his rich life back when things were normal. There's this girl he's had his eye on (she lives next door) -- he knows next to everything about her, but the real problem is that they've never even talked to each other. Being a lists kind of person, Dan writes up a list of six impossible things, and we follow his dealings of his new school, family problems, love problems, and just being a teenager.

It's almost unfathomable to think that this is Wood's debut novel, as it was written beautifully. The perspective of Dan, his whole psyche and thoughts and feelings were real and Wood really got me to believe in his character and situation, and to care about what happened to him. Dan is an intelligent and caring, not-like-all-the-others, kind of guy, which obviously made him likeable. On the whole, the writing style was perfect for this book. And so short, and I love short books so much (when done well, and this is one of those books).

The characters are all so likeable, along with Dan. While the main focus is on Dan and Estelle (the girl he likes), both their families, as well as the people around them in school, have been developed as well. I love the ending, and while it was not all that realistic in the given time frame, it was lovely just to see things work out for the characters in the end. Also, the conversations for the most part flowed very well, as in, the conversations sounded like the teenage conversation. Not strained. Not try-hard. But real.

The book sounds extremely simple, and it is in some way, but I was amazed by how much Wood covered in this small book. (< 300 = small) I have a feeling that Six Impossible Things will be just one of those books that I'll be keeping close to me for months to come. It's definitely on my "dying-to-re-read" list, and I implore everyone to check it out.


First Line

"There's this girl I know."

Favourite Quote

Probably not my favourite, but this novel was amazing and I had a hard time choosing one that was both fabulous and spoiler-free.

"I saw Estelle for the first time that day.
Invisible behind the sheer curtains I stood in the bay window at the front of the house wishing to be anywhere but here, wishing it were two months ago and I had a mutant power that let me change the course of history, when she walked up the street, dreaming, completely unaware of the seismic shifts in my heart she was creating with each step." (p. 12)


Live in Australia?
Fishpond | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders (e-book) | The Nile

Live elsewhere?
Amazon (e-book) | The Book Depository


Official Site
Goodreads Page

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Challenge: Aussie YA Challenge '11

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