Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Review: The Best Feeling of All by Jack Ellis



Mols and Jaz can’t wait for life to begin. In the meantime, they’ll make sure they get their share of excitement and fun. When they’re not seeking out the next ecstatic thrill, they’re making big plans for the future while exploring the sand dunes, headlands and storm drains of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. They happily race along the ridge between possibility and reality until they slam into the shocks, heartaches and impossible choices of adulthood. 

I think I really liked this book. Except for when I did a bit of speed reading and crept past a few pages.

The story is mainly Mols' story. In some moments it is a bit like reading a teenage diary.
The thing about this book is that nothing happens and yet everything happens. In some ways it's just the simple story of a teenage girl and her best friends going from 15 to 25.

At times big things happen, there is first sexual encounters, there are family splits, and there are a few major things that occur which change the lives of the characters. But these events don't seem to change their lives a lot. I thought some of them could have been bigger parts of the story, especially when Mols' Mum moves away to Perth, when a character goes missing and when their is an incident of near drowning. Each of these things get a bit of discussion, but I was left wanting more.

To me, Mols and Jaz and pretty ordinary. They do consume vast quantities of alcohol and drugs, but mainly they are just kids that don't grow into anything much. In this story, it kind of works because as teens they never really seemed to be wanting to do much, other than host the best party ever.

There is a lot of harsh swearing in this book, much like there is in Barracuda, the swearing didn't bother me at all. It's not swearing in an aggressive form, it's the language that teens use to be funny and cute and to say 'we're good, everything's ok'. But if you don't like excessive swearing this might not be for you.

I did find it interesting that the adults in their lives provide so much alcohol. As someone who has only ever been a weekend drinker I just don't know how people function with so many hangovers!

This book contains a lot of sex, drugs and swearing. For some that will be confronting. You will also find yourself reading these pages quickly, wanting to know what happens at the next event and how they will react/live through the changes in their lives.

Have you read it, does excessive swearing bother you?

2 comments:

  1. The swearing and drug-taking didn't bother me either, although it was very (very very) far removed from my own experience of growing up. But I just felt like none of the stories went anywhere. Something scary is happening... and it's over. Something else... nope, that's over too. Never again to be mentioned, or referred to. I just stopped caring after a while.

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  2. I struggled to get into this book and still haven't got past the first few chapters. In the bit that I did read, I remember thinking something would happen to the puppy but where I got up to, he just wasn't mentioned again. Maybe there was something else but looks like that might have been it! One day I may give it another go...

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