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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

‘Slice: Juicy Moments From My Impossible Life’ by Steven Herrick

From the BLURB:

Darcy can cope with parents, parties and punch-ups. He can handle his infatuation with the beautiful Audrey, spending quality chess-time with his nerdy friend, Noah, even the misadventures of kayaking on a school excursion. He's a teenage boy, he can deal with it. If only he'd learn to keep his mouth closed.

Meet sixteen-year-old Darcy; he can’t play soccer to save himself, he runs his mouth off and he spies on his next-door-neighbour (and love of his life), Audrey while she does yoga in her backyard.

‘Slice: Juicy Moments From My Impossible Life’ was the 2010 contemporary YA novel from Australian author Steven Herrick.

I really loved this book. Darcy is a lovable and sweet protagonist; navigating the pitfalls of having a barrister for a mother (he gets away with nothing, and never gets a fair trial) and his embarrassing soccer-obsessed father (who is looking for an outlet from his ho-hum accounting job). Darcy has to learn not to run his mouth off at school, because it can occasionally land him in a canteen-line punching match.

I'm sixteen years old and my mouth runs ahead of my brain. Our friend Pete would describe it as - ahem - premature enunciation. Mum say I talk without thinking. She's wrong. I mean what I say, I just shouldn’t say it aloud.

He also has to learn finesse when it comes to comforting his chess-playing friend, Noah, who divulges some truths about his tough family life in the wake of his father’s stroke. And then there’s Audrey – the beautiful (yet attainable) next-door-neighbour who Darcy would do anything to make his girlfriend.

If it sounds like there isn’t much actual plot in ‘Slice’, then that would be because there isn’t. ‘Slice’ is definitely character-driven, and as the title suggests, it is just moments of wacky hilarity from Darcy’s ‘Impossible Life’. There’s no triggering event powering the story, nor is there much character-arc. This book is more of a lark than a well-rounded book with character motive & journey. And that’s okay, it just took me a little while to figure it out and let Darcy’s voice overtake the lack of story.

Once I allowed Darcy’s personality to be the driving force of ‘Slice’, I found myself settling into a wonderful little Aussie YA book. Herrick’s book is full of fresh and witty humour, narrated by a charming and well-meaning young man as he navigates love, life and the art of kayaking.


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