Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
From first-time novelist Jordan Sonnenblick, a brave and beautiful story that will make readers laugh and break their hearts at the same time.
Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, Steven's world is turned upside down. He is forced to deal with his brother's illness and his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece.
Salted with humor and peppered with devastating realities, DRUMS, GIRLS, AND DANGEROUS PIE is a heartwarming journey through a year in the life of a family in crisis.
Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie is probably the first book I have read with such a young narrative voice. It is narrated by thirteen year old Steven, who has a normal teenage life until something bigger than he can understand turns it on its side. So I think at first I found this book difficult to get into, taking me back about 5/6 years in age, however I think because the book is based on something that older viewers will understand with further depth, this allowed me to enjoy the book just as much.
As a teenage boy Steven views life as more problematic than it is, and that the world is against him... as we all do during those years. Teenagers being a little turned in on themselves, tend to be half blind to what is going on around them. So when Steven's younger brother is discovered to have leukaemia and his family falls into decline, the implications on Steven's life and routine seems to weigh heavily on him. This is where I felt his character was a selfish, not understanding the effort and pain of others, moaning when he doesn't get his own way.
Throughout the book however, we watch how a young thirteen year old boy develops, becomes more confident in himself, grows to appreciate his family and most importantly his brother, how dedication can get him far (through his love for drumming and insistent practice) and how he has to make the big decisions sometimes and take a risk. It is beautiful following the transformation. This is why I believe this is a great book for children, as they learn how sometimes you need to look beyond your picture and into puzzle of everyone's picture. Yet, although it is fairly easy to read... I would still recommend young adults, older readers, to give this book a whirl, as sometimes we forget too, to appreciate what we have daily and to look beyond ourselves.
Filled with so much emotion, I'm sure you'll laugh, cry, cringe and grit your teeth at this story as much as I did. I whizzed through it, being larger font and easy language, so its great for a light read for those needing a break from 500 page novels!
I borrowed this book from a friend who has read it a dozen times, and by the looks of it backwards too, I've not seen a book so read without being in a old book store. So he clearly adores the book.
4/5 Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, is a beautiful book about the journey into adulthood.