Publisher: Electric Monkey.
Release date: June 4th 2012.
Paperback, 288 pages.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Reviewed by: Liz from Planet Print.
Sadie Nathanson spends her life trying to survive the excruciating embarrassment of simply existing. It’s hard enough being a bit of a shrinking violet within a loud and outspoken extended family, but the unexpected card from ‘Dad’ on her 15th birthday is the last straw.
As ‘Dad’ was an Internet sperm-donor, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is a bad joke, probably set up by her ex-best-friend Shonna. But it starts Sadie wondering – just who was her father? Is he the cause of her worry crinkle and wonky bum? What would happen if she tracked him down?
So she decides to do just that. With help from her nerd cousin Billy, his friend Nodding Tony and a regular dose of ‘Haironomics’ (Sadie’s own hairstyle-related philosophy system), they uncover a lot more than they bargain for...
Sadie is expecting a normal fifteenth birthday celebration spent with her family, like she has every year. Things seem to be working out fine – until Sadie gets a card from her dad. Some people wouldn’t think that was such a big deal, but Sadie is in shock. Her dad was a sperm donor her mum found on the internet – and she doesn’t even know his name. How did he find her, and why would he send a card after all these years? Sadie is convinced the whole thing is just a cruel joke created by some girls at school – but it’s got her thinking. Who is her real dad? And does she want to find him? With the help of her cousin Billy and the good old Internet, Sadie searches for the dad she never knew.
Dads, Geeks and Blue-Haired Freaks is a funny and heartfelt read about Sadie’s search for her father. Sadie had no idea who her dad was and didn’t feel comfortable talking to her mum about it. I could understand how she felt – she was a shy sort of girl, had trouble talking to boys (and I loved her comments on the issues, she made me laugh) and didn’t really know how to start a conversation with someone she’d just met. Contacting someone who might be her dad seemed like a daunting, almost impossible task – and what if her dad didn’t want to know her? But Sadie decided that she would try her best to find her dad, no matter what it took, and she put herself out there. I liked Sadie and all her whacky hairstyles, and she was a funny character too and made me smile a lot throughout the book. I wanted everything to work out for her from the beginning!
Billy, Sadie’s cousin, was a great help with the search. He was a facts man, as Sadie called him, and was good at research and finding things on the Internet. Sadie probably wouldn’t have gotten far without him. He was also really supportive and tried to take into account how Sadie felt about the whole situation – he just seemed like a nice guy and I was glad Sadie had family like him to help her.
Tony was the love interest, and I didn’t really know how to feel about him. The romance took a backseat as the book was more about finding Sadie’s dad, and their relationship was just a bit...bleh. We didn’t get to know much about Tony except that he was good with computers, and it wasn’t clear why he liked Sadie and I don’t know. I would have liked a bit more development there, but I understand the book wasn’t really about the romance so I couldn’t expect too much from it.
The plot centred mostly on Sadie searching for her father, and there were a few candidates, each of which was explored through various means (some of which were quite funny). There was also the romance side story, which I’ve already said was a bit lacking, and the issue with Shonna, who was Sadie’s ex-best friend. I felt like the Shonna problem wasn’t really resolved and the whole thing was just left a bit hanging. Sadie had this online friend, Groovechick2, as well, and I thought we would find out her identity eventually, but we never did. Sadie just talked to her about her problems and I thought we would maybe find out about Groovechick2’s problems too (as she did seem to have some) but she never really spoke about herself, it was mostly just all about Sadie. I found it a bit strange and actually would have liked to have known more about Groovechick2.
Overall, Dads, Geeks and Blue-Haired Freaks was a nice, quick read. I didn’t love it, but it was a good book to pass the time. If you like contemp with quirky characters and a different kind of story, then give this a go.
Check out more of Liz's reviews on her blog: http://planet-print.blogspot.com/