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Life After Discovering the Perfect Waves at Hanging Rock For a Young Teen is No Picnic After That
on January 13, 2017
This was a book that hooked me from the start with a kid (one of the book's two main narrators) telling how his dad brought his happy beach living life on the Gold Coast in Australia as he knew it to an end when he did something that the media awarded him a Darwin Award for. I just had to keep reading. The kid is then taken to Wales by his mother who can't handle the embarrassment and snickers in the streets and wants to start over. Her idea, to buy and manage a coastal caravan park near a small town where his class consists of 12 other kids, and he doesn't really fit in. To be honest it lost a bit of the momentum that drew me to it when we started another story within the story with a different narrator, this time a middle aged woman in England whose husband is supposed to be home to help some old woman who is stupid enough, or just likes the power trip of making people do things to not know that if you buy a washing machine and simply ask for the service to be thrown in when negotiating the price before you buy it, that they take your old one away for free. Of course as the pages go on, he still hasn't turned up, but the police eventually do. I originally wrongly thought the husband was the adult version of the other narrator, simply because he had a friend who didn't initially gets a lot of page time whose name also started with D, as did the kid and I wrongly assumed they were the same name. The two stories will overlap but that isn't it.
I didn't mind the story overall. It was more of a coming of age story that ends up becoming a bit more serious with a mild thriller angle. There is some surfing in it, because that's what the kid and his friends do, but it isn't too heavy and isn't any more intrusive to if the kids played baseball or something that I don't know much about either. Spoilers while still trying to remain vague follow. The developments in the final couple of chapters I don't think were necessary and didn't add anything to what was already a story that had overall been interesting and satisfactory up to that point. It also seemed like these pages were written for the sake of someone telling the author a good book needs to include this. In fact if the story had just flowed the way it was looking with maybe something not being opened because something was noticed, and dealing with that situation, where we were, I think it would have been a much better ending. It also wouldn't have contradicted what we had read up to then. Australians also don't refer to Australia as Oz, unless they are obsessed with a movie about Dorothy but even then they are talking about Kansas in America. Australia being said as an abbreviation is Aus, it just might sound that way to overseas ears. Saying that though I enjoyed the story enough to still rate it four and a half stars, which you can't do here so it still rounds up to five.