Monday, 21 July 2014

Book Review: Lobsters by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison.


Product details:
Publisher: Chicken House.
Paperback, 336 pages.
Release date: June 5th 2014.
Rating:  4 out of 5.
Ages:13+
Source: Purchased.


Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find 'The One'. Their lobster. But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.



A laugh-out-loud tale of first times, friendship, and festivals, Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivision is the latest ‘keeper’ on my UKYA bookshelf. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book from my fellow bloggers since its release in June – such good things, in fact, that I bumped Lobsters right to the top of my humungous summer reading pile. And I’m glad I did, because Lobsters does not disappoint.  I read a lot of US-set contemporary fiction, and while I love those books dearly and have lots of favourites, I always find the many differences between US and UK contemps quite interesting: Most US contemporary fiction is quite tame in relation to its UK counterpart, and it can be sugar-coated at times too, quite sweet and thoughtful in its way.  UKYA in my experience, and certainly in this book, is quite the opposite; I always find it refreshing that UKYA never fails to tell it like it is, right down to the often cringe-worthy nitty gritty.  I can’t recall a US-set Contemp that made me laugh out loud (although many have made me swoon!), but that happens all the time with UKYA, and just as a warning, if you read Lobsters in public, you’ll laugh so much that people will definitely stare and wonder if you’ve completely lost the plot!

It’s the summer before Uni, and Hannah’s main goal in life is to ‘lose it.’ Her virginity, that is. It seems like all her friends are doing it, well, except for gorgeous Stella who is keeping her intact, not because she can’t lose it, but because she wants to hold onto it. That’s Stella all out, though, she always has to be different to everyone else.   Not so Hannah, who is determined to get it over and done with –the sooner the better. Hannah meets Sam at Stella’s end-of-summer party, and the two immediately connect over a conversation about warm Ribena.  Hannah believes she has found her ‘lobster’ a.k.a ‘The One’ in Sam while he feels the same – Sam’s never had all that much luck with girls, but talking to Hannah is easy; Sam feels like he’s known Hannah forever – he feels like he wants to get to know her a whole lot better.

It should all be plain sailing from here for Sam and Hannah, but the course of true love rarely runs smooth, and our two lovebirds face many, many obstacles over the course of the summer:  Hannah doesn’t get Sam’s name and so he becomes known as ‘Toilet Boy’ amongst her friend, from here she loses track of him because she can’t find him on Facebook, there’s a problem with Hannah’s always-out-for-herself-friend Stella, a beautiful boy called Pax who Hannah meets in Kavos, and a girl named Miranda who calls herself Panda, because it rhymes and she likes Pandas. Okaaaay.  Will Hannah and Sam ever get it on? Or are they destined to remain apart forever due to a serious of unfortunate events – and a rather large dose of jealousy coupled with way too much alcohol.

Well, I guess you’ll just have to read Lobsters to find out.

I want to give a special mention to the supporting characters in Lobsters. As far as I know, this is a standalone –at least I haven’t heard otherwise- but I really, really think that this could be the start of a great series. And the reason for that: the secondary characters. Now, I know that sometimes I harp on about secondary characters, but it’s my opinion that well-written secondary characters can really add a whole lot of depth to a story. That happens here. Not only do both Ellen and Ivison write pitch perfect teenage voices, but they’ve also developed some really great characters in this book who pretty much deserve their own stories. First up, Stella. Stella is Hannah’s beautiful, but very bitchy friend. I’m not saying I’m a fan of Stella’s at all, but does she intrigue me? Yes. I want to read more about her. Then, there’s Robin, Sam’s all-knowing, Harry-Potter obsessed BFF. This guy totally deserves a book all of his own. Too funny!

But I don’t know if that’s happening. I really think it should.

If you love Ali Cronin’s Girl Heart Boy series (the last book of which I haven’t been able to find anywhere!), Skins, or The Inbetweeners, then add Lobsters to your summer reading list. You won’t be disappointed!
 

29 comments :

  1. ChristinaBookAddict21 July 2014 at 12:57

    This sounds like a fun summer read; plus, if it can make me laugh out loud, then it's a must read for me. Do you know if it will be published in the US? I adore that cover!! Great review, Leanna!

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  2. Books that make you laugh out loud are my kind of book - I bought this the other week thanks to so many blogger recommendations. After this review I'm bumping it to the top! Great review :)

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  3. See, now THIS is the type of summer read I've been looking for. I love feel-good books that make me smile (and give me the giggles, too!) This sounds so, so good! Lovely review :)

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  4. I love the cover too. It just screams summer! I don't know about a US release, but you should be able to find it on The Book Depository and get free shipping! :)

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  5. Yes - this one has some great blogger recommendations. And now it has another one from me! :) Get reading, Jesse! :)

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  6. Thanks, Melissa! This one will definitely make you laugh out loud! :)

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  7. The new Gayle Foreman sounds wonderful! I can't wait to get my hands on that! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  8. Awesome roundup. Even though I never finished Cynthia Hand's debut series (I just never got around to it--I loved the first two books!), I'm excited for more from her!

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  9. Jess Hearts Books1 August 2014 at 18:41

    Oh man...the cover for The Start of Me and You! I wasn't head over heels over Emery's debut but I do really like the sound of this! I'm ridiculously excited for I Was Here, The Last Time We Say Goodbye and Red Queen. Is it bad that I'm already wishing away this year so I can read these beauties!?

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  10. Jess Hearts Books1 August 2014 at 18:44

    I'm so glad you loved this one too! Your review captures everything that I loved about it. Robin so needs his own book!

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  11. I remember the previous book in this series sounding like a complete drama fest and thinking I'd want to choke Pia. It's nice to hear Angie's story is more thoughtful and relatable, because I usually have to like the main character to enjoy the story. Great review! :)

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  12. Yes! I would love to see some spin-offs of this one. Robin's story would be hilarious! I'd love to know more about Stella too - I wasn't a fan, but I think there's a whole lot more to her than meets the eye!

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  13. Jenny/Wondrous Reads3 August 2014 at 09:48

    Great books this week! Hope the new Cynthia Hand is good - she's a lovely writer. Enjoy! :)

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  14. Me too! Also excited for the If I Stay movie! :)

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  15. Ah, you should totally finish the Unearthly series - but I know what you mean - I abandon so many series mid-way through (even when I'm enjoying them!)

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  16. Oooh, I loved Open Road Summer so I'm very excited for this one. Love the cover too!

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  17. Caroline Taylor3 August 2014 at 12:39

    Sadly I abandon quite a lot of series midway through too even if I loved them, usually its because I have forgotten the plot by the time the next book comes out.

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  18. This happens to me all the time!

    I usually look for a recap if I'm about to read a next-in-a-series book. :)

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  19. ChristinaBookAddict3 August 2014 at 14:33

    So many awesome books coming out! Looking forward to Emery Lord's newest, Juliana Romano, and Gayle Forman. I had no idea Cynthia Hand had another book coming out…sounds very different than her Unearthly series. Thanks for all the bookish news!

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  20. She is! And I hope so too. I have high hopes for this one!

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  21. kirstymariejonesstudioreads3 August 2014 at 16:02

    Can't wait to read Compulsion and The Cure for Dreaming, two of my most anticipated, such gorgeous covers too. I've only read Unearthly of Cynthia Hand's, haven't finished the series yet though I did enjoy the first one. :) Happy reading!

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  22. There's a new Vampire Queen novel? I didn't know! I still need to buy the second book as well. It seems to take a while for these sequels to be released. I hope you have great week!

    Under The Mountain

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  23. Gina @ My Precious3 August 2014 at 23:58

    How exciting! Cynthia Hand has a new book out. I loved her Unearthly Series, still meet to finish book #3.

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  24. Great books this week! I also got The Last Time We Said Goodbye. I LOVED Unearthly and am so looking forward to this one!! :)

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  25. Kristy @ The Girl of Novels4 August 2014 at 06:22

    I'm seeing everyone with The Last Time We Say Goodbye and I need it in my life. Yup.

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  26. I want all the Harper Teen books. I have a limit on how many review books I allow myself though and right now I'm over that by 5 books so I'm resisting for now.
    I haven't read Cynthia Hand but I really want to after your shout out for that one in particular.
    Love the cover of the Cat Winters book. It's spooky!

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  27. Ohh I love Reality Bites, now I want to watch that too.

    I enjoyed book 1, I thought it was fun even if I wanted to slap Pia for being so stupid! This one sounds good too, I like that it's more relatable.

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