Thursday, 23 June 2011

Review: Swim the Fly by Don Calame

Publisher: Templar
Format: Paperback
Released: May 9th, 2011
Grade rating: B/B+

Amazon summary:

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time. But this mission impossible starts to look easy in comparison to Matt's other challenge: to swim the 100-yard butterfly and impress the gorgeous Kelly West.


I have one word for this book: hilarious! I was in my bed reading it and at one point I was laughing so much that I scared my cat away. And she's a tough cat. If you're wondering, it was Chapter 12 that tickled me so much. I couldn't believe what I was reading, it was so embarrassing and brilliant. Genius.

So, 3 15-year-old boys - Matt, Sean and Coop - make a pact to see a girl naked by the end of the summer. (You already know this isn't going to end well, right?) Matt also volunteers to swim the [butter]fly for his team, all in the hopes of impressing a cute girl. Boys + pacts + girls = American Pie, and we all know how that turned out. Have we learnt nothing from Jim and Stifler?! Swim the Fly is like a younger version of that film (which I love very much) crossed with the The Inbetweeners. There's nothing else I can liken it to, and hopefully that comparison will give you a good idea of what awaits you on these pages.

It's quite rare for me to read a YA book narrated by a boy; they seem few and far between. I love getting an insight into the mind of a teenage boy, and I kinda wish I'd have read Swim the Fly when I was 15 - I would have teased my boy friends non-stop! Just when I thought Matt couldn't possibly get himself into another tricky situation, along came a dress or a pool party. I think bad luck just followed him around, until he met Ulf the swim teacher. That dude was mental, but he knew what he was talking about!

Swim the Fly is the funniest book I've read for a long time, and one of only a handful to make me laugh without being able to stop. It's mostly about friendship, but you'll find some girls and swimming in there too. My only niggle is that I think it could have done with being a bit shorter. I was getting restless by the end of the 300+ pages, but as always I'm sure other readers won't even notice, or care, about the page count. Oh, and it's not for the faint of heart or younger readers, nor is it for people susceptible to hiccups from laughing too much. You have been warned!


Allison said...

this does sound pretty funny - it actually sounds like it should be the sequel to the movie The Sandlot or something.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I was a bit hesitant about picking this up, but you've made me really want to read it now!

Lynn said...

This sounds good - I love a book that makes me laugh.
Lynn :D

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Wonderful review! I loved this book, and after I finished I gave it to a teenaged boy. I was so happy to hear that he's loving it too!

I Want To Read That said...

I picked this up today and found myself laughing out loud - the bit I read was really funny!

Another book to add to my (ever growing!) wishlist!

Jesse Owen said...

This sounds hilarious - I must pick up a copy soon, fab review :D

Becky said...

I loved this one so much. It was hilarious and sometimes disgusting. A definite keeper for me. I didn't feel that it was overly long but perhaps a 13 year old boy would. Food for thought. Fab review.

Book Angel Emma said...

your review has convinced me to add it to my library wish-list post this week. Not something I would generally read myself but it soundsd brilliant for the boys in the library - A summer reads for boys *YES*

Maggie said...

The audio is so good if you have a chance to listen. The narrator did a great job with all the different voices, especially Ulf's. This is one book I recommend to everyone.