Jennifer Haight's Reviews > Teen Boat!

Teen Boat! by John          Green
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May 23, 12

Read in May, 2012





When I first saw Teen Boat! By Dave Roman and John Green, I thought that it was written by John Green of YA lit fame (it isn’t), and I was sucked in by the slogan “The angst of being a teen; the thrill of being a boat!” It is a quirky and fun albeit unfocused and repetitive premise.
The premise is that a boy strangely named Teen Boat, transforms into a small yacht but can continue to communicate while he is in boat form. How and why hes able to do this is never discussed. At some points of the book, like when he is trying to impress his crush, Nina Pinta Santa Maria, he can simply will himself to become a boat. In other sections of the book he has to wet the pog in his ear which states “Nautical Activation Don’t Get Wet” to become a boat. He constantly tries to impress Nina Pinta who is easily charmed by numerous other boys for stupid reasons; Harry Cobbs because he is big and powerful, Bitemark because he is "so punk rock", etc. Meanwhile his faithful friend, a girl named Joey, obviously likes him and waits steadfastly by his side.


The illustrations are bright and full of action and expression but there just isn’t enough substantial story to keep a flow. It’s difficult to decipher what age audience the book is seeking. It’s labeled as being for ages 12, (grade 7) and up but the illustrations mimic current cartoons that are for younger viewers. The subject matter skews older as well with a party including drinking alcohol and illegal gambling, a chapter entitled “The Horror of Wet Dreams” and a frame which features Teen Boat with his pants down showing his Mom the “propeller” that he woke up with. If you pick it up for a fun, light read then Teen Boat! won’t disappoint. In this way, its pre-summer release is a good choice.
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