Tuesday, 7 January 2014
Review: Boys Don't Knit by T.S. Easton
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Released: January 2nd, 2014
Ben Fletcher must get to grips with his more 'feminine' side following an unfortunate incident with a lollipop lady and a stolen bottle of Martini Rosso from Waitrose. All a big misunderstanding of course. To avoid the Young Offenders unit, Ben is ordered to give something back to the community and develop his sense of social alignment. Take up a hobby and keep on the straight and narrow. The hot teacher he likes runs a knitting group so Ben, reluctantly at first, gets 'stuck in'. Not easy when your dad is a sports fan and thinks Jeremy Clarkson is God. To his surprise, Ben finds that he likes knitting and that he has a mean competitive streak. If he can just keep it all a secret from his mates...and notice that the girl of his dreams, girl-next-door Megan Hooper has a bit of a thing for him...
I LOVE books like this! It's written in diary format, it's funny and witty and one of the best contemporary YA books I've read with a male lead. Straight away Boys Don't Knit had me laughing out loud, and from the first mention of Ben's little sister eating tadpoles, I knew I was on to a winner! Needless to say I laughed my way through the rest of the book, alternately chuckling like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and full-on guffawing like a mad person. It's very, very amusing.
The plot itself is something new, too. Ben had a bit of a run-in with a lollipop lady thanks to his wayward cycling skills, and ends up having to choose an extra curricular class for his probation. There's not much choice, so he picks knitting (mainly so he can avoid his crush's mum who he thinks takes another class. Turns out she takes knitting). He soon finds that he's actually really, genuinely good at knitting and could actually make a career of it and win some competitions. But, wait! He can't possibly tell his dad because he just wouldn't understand. I've never read a book about a boy who takes up knitting, so I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Of course that's not the only arrow in Ben's bow, so to speak, but it's a pretty big part of his life. And a rather interesting one, too!
I really liked Ben; he's witty, sharp-tongued and just a generally nice guy. He has a questionable group of friends with even more questionable names (Joz and Gex, for example), who are thought of as the resident town hooligans, but even they have their nice sides and often have his back when school bullies are on the warpath. He also has a hilarious parental unit, one that is rather fond of double entendres and innuendos (chuckle). There's also a smattering of romance thrown in and an unlikely budding friendship with the lollipop lady he almost killed - nothing is ever simple for Ben!
T. S. Easton has written a hugely enjoyable book with Boys Don't Knit, one that I hope will appeal to boys and girls alike. There's a sequel due at some point, titled An English Boy in New York, and I for one can't wait to read it and see what madcap stuff Ben and Co. get up to next. I'm sure it will be hilarious, occasionally daft and downright entertaining, much like this book and all the characters within its pages!