15-year-old Will Clark has been living with his grandparents since his mother abandoned him 5 years ago. Will is a compulsive reader and aspiring teakwandoist. He is surrounded by some intriguing characters. The banter between Will an his grandmother is hilarious. When he applies the same approach to conversation to his dealings with the school guidance counsellor, things go horribly wrong. It all gets complicated, when Mother returns and Will falls for Conway. Both seem unreachable for him.
The language of the book is beautiful. A favourite: ‘He […] got into bed […] trying to slow down the circuit of thoughts going round and round the Möbius strip of his mind’. A beautiful description of a busy mind.
We liked the novel within novel approach, in which Will lets us in on a few chapters of his fantasy novel.
Best supporting actress goes to Hex, the cow.
Hugh Brown has worked as a dishwasher, cook, editor, conservation worker and house dad. When he was young he liked writing rhyming poems (and still does). After studying literature at university he decided he’d like to write stories that were fun to read. He now lives in Paekakariki with his three kids, where he writes, edits, gardens and plays music. This is his first published book, and is the inaugural winner of the Tessa Duder Award for Young Adult Fiction.