Review: Notes from the Blender

Review: Notes from the BlenderNotes from the Blender by Brendan Halpin, Trish Cook
Published by EgmontUSA on May 24, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Pages: 240
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Declan loves death metal--particularly from Finland. And video games--violent ones. And internet porn--any kind, really. He goes to school with Neilly Foster and spends most of his classroom time wondering what it might be like to know her, to talk to her, maybe even to graze against her sweater in the hallway. Neilly is an accomplished gymnast, naturally beautiful, and a constant presence at all the best parties (to which Declan is never invited). She's the queen of cool, the princess of poker face, and her rule is uncontested-- or it was until today, when she's dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her former BFF Lulu, and then informed she's getting a new brother--of the freaky fellow classmate variety. Declan's dad is marrying Neilly's mom. Soon. Which means they'll be moving in together.

Notes from the Blender is one of the books my dear, lovely friend Jordan brought back from ALA for me. When I read the blurb on the back, I was hugely skeptical about how this was going to go. It sounded like a manga plot, because they love the step-sibling thing (and the sibling thing, which we do now too apparently, as there’s a new YA book about that which I both do and really do not want to try) and I just didn’t know if it was going to be my jam, as they say.

Actually, I really liked it! Don’t you just love when first impressions are wrong for the better? (Presuming, of course, of course that I did not make a huge fuss about not liking the person/thing/place first, in which case I mostly just feel like a fool. This happened recently with Modern Family. Even paragons of perfection like myself (ha!) make mistakes now and then. Anyway, this book is super cute and successfully rocks the alternating stories written by two different parties. Both characters had real voices and were likable (and not occasionally). Folks who enjoy the collaborations between Levithan and Cohn should definitely give this one a chance!

This story managed to hit on soooo many key issues in teenage life: death metal, veganism, violence, dating, sex, pregnancy, drugs, alcohol and homosexuality. The attitudes conveyed therein are pretty awesome, although I would also list this as the only real weakness, since, on some topics, it got a bit preachy. Pretty much every single character (except for the jerks and, in an isolated incident) express their absolute disdain and disgust with anyone who drinks ever. This makes sense with Dec’s mother (whose father was an alcoholic) and Dec (whose mother was killed by a drunk driver), but seems a bit more unlikely for Neilly (she drank too much once and doesn’t want to drink again, which is fine, but why does she abhor it so?).

Anyway, this was just really fun, quick and cute, so I highly recommend it!

One response to “Review: Notes from the Blender”

  1. Heather says:

    I love Modern Family!

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