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Boy Meets Hamster

(Boy Meets Hamster #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Fourteen-year-old Dylan Kershaw's idea of a dream holiday includes at least three things: beaches to bask on, cosmopolitan culture, and a chance for romance (or at least his first kiss) with another boy. Unluckily for Dylan, this year his mum's treating the family to the least dreamy holiday ever: a £9.50 break at Starcross Sands, Cornwall's Crummiest Caravan Park.

But Star
Paperback, 236 pages
Published June 14th 2018 by Macmillan
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  252 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Kate (GirlReading)
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.75* Boy Meets Hamster was an adorable, enjoyable and easy read, with a funny and accepting family dynamic, a heartwarming friendship, an adorable romance and a diverse cast of characters; with the main character being gay, his little brother having cerebral palsy, his best friend being a plus sized girl who is seemingly bi (although the word isn’t used on the page) and a POC love interest. For me, the writing style felt a little too simple at times and therefore somewhat infantilised the chara ...more
Finn Longman
This was a very quick read (<90 mins probably), and cute, too. While I think I might be a little older than the target audience, it was nice to read what is essentially a light-hearted gay romcom featuring fourteen year olds. Because the first book I ever read that featured a gay character had a big label on the back saying "parental advisory: adult content" or something to that effect, and I've never entirely got over that. I'm glad today's preteens and teens don't have to deal with that.

This was a very cute, funny middlegrade with lots of diversity! I loved the character growth as well, but I do think the absurdism was a little too strong in this one. The storyline seemed a little too far-fetched at times, and that took away from my suspension of disbelief a couple of times.

Update: something irked me about this book and I've finally managed to put my finger on it. Dylan is quite anxious about coming out to his parents, but when he does, they absolutely diminish his feelings and
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y-a
A lovely, funny story about teenager Dylan going on a family holiday with his best friend Kayla to a caravan park, with all the second rate entertainment you could wish for, and only costing £9.50 with a newspaper deal. Included in this is a giant mascot Hamster, Nibbles, who is the highlight of the holiday for Dylan's five year old brother Jude (who doesn't really accept that Nibbles is really someone in a hamster suit), but becomes the bane of Dylan's life. Anyway, Dylan would far rather get t ...more
Robin Stevens
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An adorable teen love story about Dylan, the boy in the caravan next door and the hamster mascot who seems to want to thwart him at every turn. Like a British Love, Simon, this is a fun summer read. (12+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: An ARC was provided via Pan Macmillan India in exchange for my honest review. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

The only feeling I had when I was reading this endearing contemporary coming of age book was “Aww interspaced with a whole lot of second hand embarrassment and blushing”. 

The Boy Meets Hamster ticks off all all my requirements for my happy place – and it did it absolutely brill
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel has everything: a charming 14-year-old hero who falls in love for the first time; a 5-year-old little brother with special needs and a sharp intellect (and NOBODY gets to be rude to him!); parents who are cool and uncool in more or less equal measure; a female best friend with her own issues, but enough attitude to last a few lifetimes; a holiday on the cheap at a caravan park in Cornwall; weird co-visitors with flamingoes and garden gnomes in front of their caravans; a park manager i ...more
Jay Bracknell
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic read. Warmth, wit, and wry observations about love and family abound and the setting - a newspaper coupon holiday camp - was a refreshing change and deftly but affectionately skewered. Every character here is wonderfully drawn but I particularly enjoyed Jude and his enthusiasm for Nibbles, Kayla and her boldness, and Dylan’s dad and his Jurassic Parka. Would read a sequel about any of them and also would love more Dylan and Leo, who underpin the entire thing which such a love ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, oh my! It was sweet and funny and full of twists and turns - a perfect summer read! Unlike Love, Simon the actual love mystery was a bit easy to pick up on, but then again it's aimed at a slightly younger audience I guess. Still, it's wonderful and an absolute page turner!
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 3.75
This book was just... urgh, my heart.

Things I liked: the setting, the characterisation, the diversity (racial, ethnic, sexual, ability), the romance, Kayla, Leo, Nibbles

Things I didn't like: the writing style (it just didn't quite match with the story, I thought; it felt a little like I was reading a children's middle-grade book instead of a teen-fiction about romance; however, it's just a personal preference and I have several arguments for why this combination is actually a good thing and is e
A copy of this novel was provided by Pan Macmillan Australia for review.

There were four main things I liked about Boy Meets Hamster and because I like writing reviews in list form, here they are:

1) The age of the protagonist

The main character in Boys Meets Hamster is fourteen, which is so rare in YA and even more rare in queer YA. There’s been a huge influx of YA books with 17/18 year old main characters and while that’s great and relatable for readers that are those ages, YA is actually meant f
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this fantastic debut that I`ve heard described as the UK`s answer to Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (an accolade it lives up to), we`re introduced to Dylan, who is on holiday in a caravan park, as he decides he likes Jayden-Lee from the caravan next door and sets out to win his heart, despite the hamster mascot of the park foiling him at every turn and the fact that his best friend Kayla does not approve of Jayden-Lee at all. I entirely agreed with Kayla that Jayden-Lee is pretty horrible a ...more
Karen Barber
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A quirky story, that will have you laughing out loud and (probably) falling in love with a giant orange hamster.
Dylan is used to being dragged on rubbish holidays with his parents and younger brother. This summer he’s taken to a caravan park in Cornwall, and the only consolation is he can take his best friend Kayla. Nothing much happens at this park, but in his quest to have the holiday of a lifetime Dylan ends up causing chaos.
Upon arriving at their holiday home, Dylan develops an enormous crus
Lydia Hephzibah
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m a sucker for a cute cover and an LGBT+ protagonist, and I happily read above and below my age range, so Boy Meets Hamster was a no-brainer. All Dylan wants is a good holiday, whether that means going somewhere exotic (definitely not) or having his first kiss – or at least having someone like him back (more likely).

First of all, I want to give this book credit for its diversity, which feels realistic rather than forced or shoe-horned in. Dylan is gay and comfortable in his own skin, though he
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so much fun! This book is laugh-out-loud amusing, sweet and has some really great messages. What if you’re so busy pretending to be someone you’re not that you miss out on the person who would have liked you for who you really are?

Dylan is a bit clumsy, doesn’t always make the best decisions but he loves his little brother and his best friend.

His crush on the cute neighbour kid at the campground is adorable. And he gets into some hilarious situations while trying to figure out his lif
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt-fiction
If only I had this book as a teenager

Although this book is for 'young adults' and I no longer fit into the category, I became so lost in it. Whilst it is light-hearted and fun to read, there is a clear and strong message buried within.

The character development is fantastic, I really rooted for Dylan from start to finish, I was transported back to family holidays as a child and laughed-out-loud so many times.

Beautifully written and a fantastic debut by Birdie Milano.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very cute read, perfect to end the summer.
Lovely and positive message delivered. All of the characters in their own way were important and cleverly pictured. Also, very good representation !
The writing was also a big plus.
Would definitely recommend this book !
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hiding behind the cute and quirky title Boy Meets Hamster is the ultimate coming-of-age novel that everyone, teens and parents alike, needs to read, whatever their sexual orientation. The parents are brilliant role-models for how to navigate the tricky teen years as parents, and 14-year-old Dylan and his best friend Kayla are the perfectly imperfect heroes of the tale - never giving up when life gets tough, always staying true to their values and never letting the bullies get to them (not for lo ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
I saw this book in Waterstones and, after a quick read of the back, really had to read it.
It's a relatively short read, and as others have suggested, the plot twists were fairly obvious, but the whole thing is so charmingly written I couldn't help but fall in love with it. I particularly liked how the characters were handled, whilst Dylan is quite frustrating for the first half with his crush, he's still always likable. His best friend Kayla is the sort of best friend everyone should have and s
Rakie Keig
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Charming and funny teenage story, possibly a bit predictable for adults (who could possibly be hiding in the giant hamster costume??) but so much fun to read that you can forgive it most things. Also manages to tackle a bunch of complicated issues without once making it feel like you're being lectured.
Lisa Super
Aug 08, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018-debut, ya
Boy Meets Hamster is a rom com of pure delight. Every sentence cackles with wit, and I love how self-deprecating Dylan is. This book is perfect for anyone wanting a fluffy romance. And, even though the mystery romance is very fun, my favorite part of the book is the relationship that Birdie Milano creates between Dylan and his younger brother, Jude. Jude is physically disabled, but there is no ableism here, no inspiration porn. He's just an annoying little brother. Highly recommend this debut. I ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sophie Cameron
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this fun, hilarious story about a 14-year-old boy's first summer romance at a holiday camp in Cornwall. The writing is brilliant, the characters so vivid and likeable - even Margaret, who makes an excellent villain - and it made me laugh out loud several times. It's very diverse, including POC and disabled representation as well as gay and bi characters, and it was really refreshing to see LGBTQ+ themes (such as coming out, being outed and assumptions) tackled within the conte ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story focuses around Dylan, who is on a cheap holiday with his family and has brought a best friend along for the ride, and who realizes he is falling for the literal boy next door (he's in the caravan parked next to theirs).

However, the wrench in this is a Hamster mascot named Nibbles, whose greatest joy in life seems to be showing up and making Dylan's pursuit a mess.

This is a story really reminiscent of "Simon vs." and "Noah Can't Even", but I'd say it has more heart and warmth than eit
“If you pretend to be someone you’re not, you’ll never know who would have liked you for who you are.”

When I bought the book, I thought the hamster was going to be an actual hamster and not the place's giant orange mascot. It caught me by surprise at first. I did ask myself how a hamster was going to ruin Dylan's chances with the boy next door. I was curious to find out how that was going to happen. The reality was so much funnier and sweeter. It's amazing how much trouble a boy can manage to ge
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Unfortunately guys, this is going to be the last book I'm reading for a while. As my english workload increases at school, I'll be taking the remainder of 2018 to focus on school course content: hamlet, kite runner, and women talking, so I won't have any time for more pleasure reading outside those books. This book was kind of a disappointment to end off my 2018 reading challenge. I found it waay too childish. While important topics were covered, I found the execution of said topics to be too im ...more
Elizabeth Tammi
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dylan had higher hopes for his summer vacation. He doesn’t care much for Starcross Sands, the budget caravan park his parents have selected for their ‘dream holiday’. However, there is a rather attractive boy at the park, who Dylan hopes might be his first kiss and requited crush…if he’d stop being ignorant about Dylan’s disabled brother and generally quite intolerant. Dylan’s relationship with his best friend Kayla is tested as his crush intensifies, and through it all, the park’s mascot– a fru ...more
Eve beinguniquebooks
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dylan is forced to go on one of the newspaper £9.50 holiday deals to a caravan park in Cornwall along with him is his best friend too and once they get to the caravan park it soon becomes clear they're in for an interesting time from oldie Elviss to dancing hamsters, not forgetting the cute boy, Jayden next door.

However after a lot of incidents Jayden starts to come across as more of a nightmare as the cracks start to show in his perfect image Dylan see's him as leading him to a change of though
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: glbt, ya
This is going to be an unpopular review. This book was a good first draft, but there is a load of issues which feel more like they are due to 'one of my biggest issues with gay ya written by female authors' (yes, I know, not all female authors), the MC ends up coming off as a teenage girl (why won’t the boy like me’ type of thing), having been a 14 something gay boy most of the situations and reactions come across as hollow and false. All I can say it this is a ongoing problem with a real lack o ...more
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