Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he's narrowed it down to just six impossible things...
And then, when I finished, I immediately wanted to go back to the beginning and read it all again from that start. (I settled for another hour of flicking through and re-reading classic moments and favourite lines)
There is so much to love about this book it's hard to know where to begin.
Dan is completely lovable, funny and cute in such an unassuming way. His narration of the many tragic events unfolding in his life is teen angst with the most grin-worthy one-liners. He is sweet and hopeful and crushing hard on the unattainable girl next door (Estelle).
And the Girl Next Door is ever so funky and cool and smart in that way that you just want to hang out with her in the hope that some of her coolness rubs off.
The cast in this book were all fleshed out in such an achingly real way. Not only did I fall in love with Dan but I related to his Mum and I love how underneath all the charm and fun in this book, there's a lot of stuff readers can relate to: parent's separating/divorce, financial difficulty, depression, parent's mid-life crisis, wanting to be cool and accepted, getting your first job, wanting to get the unattainable girl and striving to be a better person but always seeming to fall short.
I have to mention: I loved how Dan's attic was connected to Estelle's which led to some sneaky creeping around between the houses. Such an awesome set up.
Six Impossible Things also has such a beautiful and whimsical prologue which I read twice before turning to the opening :)
six things about six impossible things:
1. It's funny. Brilliant one-liners, dialogue that just kills you with it's goodness, and the situations Dan finds himself in will have you grinning.
2. Dan - one of the best male POV's. Charming and smart and oh-so-funny and he transforms so awesomely from a slightly awkward geek to a cool confident guy.
3. Secret girls stuff. I loved Estelle and how the girl group hung out - it all felt so teenagery and fresh and had me feeling quite nostalgic. I loved Estelle's Diary which so reminded me of my own teenage diary :)
4. The adult cast - completely shone, even those in minor roles. I wish every YA book would strive to put in adult charatcers who are so multi-dimensional and relatable. I also love the plot lines and story arcs for the minor characters.
5. The little quirky details and how it all comes together in a climax that made my heart swell with happiness. Also you never quite know just how the story is going to end.
6. It's one of the best books I've read - right up there with Graffiti Moon and Raw Blue and Beatle Meets Destiny and Jaclyn Moriarty's work.
Recommended: I find it so hard to review books that completely floor me with it's brilliance - really, what I want to say is: I love this book so hard and think it's truly perfect for teens (guys and girls) and also for adult readers who will find a lot to love about Dan and his experiences.
And: I read in an interview that Dan Cereill is an anagram of Cinderella. I know, very cool!