Maggie's Reviews > The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain

The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain by Cath Crowley
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's review
Sep 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: aussie-aussie-aussie-oi-oi-oi, debut-novels, 2012, i-ve-just-read-you-and-i-love-you, aussie-2012, a-z-book-2012, crushworthy-guys
Read on January 31, 2012

I love reading debut novels. They're like the origins story of my superheroes -- authors. Cath Crowley wrote two of my favorite reads last year: A Little Wanting Song and Graffiti Moon. In her debut novel, The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain, you see the beginning of her style with multiple, alternating points of view of irresistible characters.

First, you have Gracie. Kickass soccer superstar on an all boys team. The problem isn't that she knows this, the problem is she knows it and lords her supremacy on the field over her teammates. (Like Ladybugs in reverse without the cross dressing, Catie!) There's a "No I in team" speech here but Cath Crowley is too talented for that. Instead she gives us Martin Knight.

Martin Knight is the captain and Gracie's sole supporter on the team. The first time a timid, young Gracie approaches the team, he tells her, "Stick with me, Faltrain." Me: a puddle of goo. Every time Martin says something, I turn into goo but Gracie, of course, rolls her eyes and then averts them to another guy who may be a jerk.

Nick. As if.

It wouldn't be a Crowley book without kooky, slight-to-moderately dysfunctional parents. Gracie's parents have the most awesome meet-cute ever, but Gracie's dad has been away on business for awhile, longer than necessary now that she thinks about it, and things don't seem so cute anymore.

Then, in addition to team and family tension, Gracie's BFF is moving to London. She's without her support system as she has the most hilariously horrible date ever.

It involves a tongue in the ear.

I loved Gracie & co and I really liked this book. I wouldn't say it's on the same level as Graffiti Moon, and earlier on I wanted less points of view (and I could do without the definitions that start each chapter), but overall it was a solid, enjoyable, funny read, let alone a debut! I just adore the way Cath Crowley writes. Some of my favorite quotes:
He looks like he wants to stuff what he's just said back in his mouth and swallow. I catch a tiny glimpse of his home life, scattered around us like little crumbs of sadness.

I've got a fist in my stomach; whenever I open my mouth it punches out at anyone who gets in my way.
The two best quotes are at the end, but they're a little spoilery so I didn't include them. It may involve a tongue in the ear.

Four stars and a hundred SQUEEs.
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Reading Progress

01/31/2012 page 1
0.0% "Thanks to an amazing friend Down Under, I'm starting this book that I've been wanting to read foreeeeev--okay, fine, for like a year. But STILL. :) My current expression: "

Comments (showing 1-7)

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Noelle Aww, I love your first two sentences. And the rest of the sentences too. Great review!

Maggie Thanks, Noelle! I considered Photoshopping Cath Crowley into an X-Men Origins poster but I think that would cross the line from fangirl to swimfan.

Sarah I love the weirdo parents in Cath Crowley novels.

(For the record, I feel like I need to remind you that I introduced you to Cath Crowley, haha.)

Shirley Marr Such a cute review. Maggie, you totally need to do that photoshop.

Maggie Sarah: Cath Crowley, Shannon Stacey, Julie James... you've created a monster! And a giant hole in my bank account! :)

Shirley: Thanks, Shirley! Maybe I'll do the Photoshop when I finally read Alibrandi, which I've been saving for a rainy day.

Noelle What! Are you saying there was going to be a whole Mt. Rushmore of Aussie YA Author X-Men Origins photoshop?? I must see this. MUST.

Shirley Marr OMG. I need to see this too! Please say it will have Markus Zusak in it:D

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