For every book we read during the book club, one of our book club members will write a review. This way anyone who couldn’t be there, can still join in with the fun! Our tenth YA book is Lobsters by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison. The review is written by Nanouk Meijer and originally posted on her own site Dutch Book Chick.
So this book came to my attention through the Bored to Death book club. I was super happy that we decided to read this book, because I had already heard so much about it through the Dutch publishers of the book. Anyways, this is what I thought of the book. I finished it last night and there’s so much to talk about.
“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.” [goodreads]
Sounds pretty good, right? Not to mention the mysterious Lobster reference. I didn’t get it at the beginning, but I will tell you, it will be explained in one of the last chapters of the book. It’s important to know that the book is narrated from two characters: Hannah and Sam. The part of Hannah is written by Lucy Ivison and the part of Sam is written by Tom Ellen. I’m not going further into the personal relationship of the authors, but during the book club, some things came to my attention. I will write about that in my coverage of the evening. But yes, the story is written by two authors, yet I think the two authors have united their stories into one hilarious read.
I’d like to first focus on Hannah. Hannah at first didn’t really speak to me. I liked her, and could imagine her as a sparkling person; yet that didn’t really come out at first. Her personality was hidden somewhere far away inside of her. She was totally obsessed with boys and losing her virginity. She’s 18, right? She worries about losing her virginity before going to college. From personal experiences, I can tell, this wasn’t an obsession she and I share. The book as a whole is very focused on sex and love, but it’s narrated very honest so it wasn’t erotic or anything. Awkward is the word I’m looking for I guess. Hannah is a teenager and every page of the novel is screaming “I’m a teenager”. It’s totally funny if you just go into the book keeping in mind they’re teenagers and they obsess about stupid things and make the same mistake twice. Don’t expect an in-depth story. Hannah is cool though, I like her.
Sam is very different yet awkward all the same. He and his friend are totally behaving like teenage boys, though there’s lots of focus on alcohol and drugs. The book is British, not American, so that might explain a lot. I didn’t mind, the book was fun. You just have to keep in mind that they’re teenage boys trying to have some fun. Don’t take it too serious. The one thing that really irritated me about Sam was that he expected things to come to him without him doing anything about it, yet also assuming the worst of people without further questioning that person. But yet again, he’s 17. What do you expect?
Stella is a character I couldn’t really read, though I think she’s behaving the way she does because of the absence of her parents. At the end, when she really needs them, they still ditch on her. She’s looking for attention whenever she can and gets it. She’s the perfect mean girl yet I think the authors could’ve elaborated this more. I was sooo interested in her. They left me craving for more.
The story line of the book is a bit dull, but then again, it’s realistic. They novel depicts the live of British teenagers and everything that happens to them could happen to anybody. And by dull I mean: there’s no real climax (*wink wink*). Still I loved to read the novel and really couldn’t put it away. The story is just adoooorable.
So yes, the book lacks some depth here and there. But over all, it’s a nice summer book that will make you laugh and cry all the same, maybe recognizing something of yourself in both the characters. I would recommend this book to everybody between the ages of 12 and 20-something. Just keep in mind they’re teenagers and you will love the book.
Just re-reading this review I might sound a bit critical, but critical is good. I just wanted to clarify that I totally enjoyed reading the book! Lobsters is a funny, awkward and realistic story about two teenagers trying to find their way in a world of love, sex, drugs, school and friends.
P.s.: a friend of mine designed the cover of the Dutch version of Lobsters! Check it out down below. For more information about the Dutch translation of the book, check out www.blossombooks.com. The website of the cover designer Emmy you can find here: www.zonenmaan.net