C.G. Drews's Reviews > Six Impossible Things

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
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really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, contemporary, aussie-authors, 4-star, retelling

Any novel that’s title spins off Lewis Carroll is an immediate magnet for me. Is it funny? Bonus. Is it well written? Double bonus. Is it set in Australia where jargon and quips and calamities are relatable? Triple bonus.

Besides the quirky writing, Dan Cereill (pronounced: surreal, not cereal) is my favourite part. He’s 14 and awkward and nerdy and basically a round character in a square world. And he’s funny. I like strong protagonists, not shadowed by overly-funky-best-friends or exciting circumstances. I like a character who can stand hold the story on their shoulders and make it special. Dan does just that. Besides having a dry sense of humour, being slightly sarcastic, and not fitting in (anywhere at all), he’s also extremely awkward. He tries so hard but things have a happen of turning fishy in his face.

Like when he gets a job to help the non-existent family income, and applies at the…op-shop (also translated as thrift store.) Or when he tries to work out (improved physique will definitely get the girl’s attention) with dumbbells from the op-shop, he ends up dropping one on his face.

Of course, the genre is romance and contemporary, a combination I'm not naturally fond of. I’ll sacrifice preferences for a good book, though, and I was happily contented after finishing Six Impossible Things. Dan’s crush on the impossibly wonderful (I still don’t know why) girl next door, Estelle, is funny and hopeless. She’s a snob. He’ll do anything for her. Of course, this is true and life-long love (naturally. He is fourteen.) and the obstacles are nothing compared to destiny. Maybe I'm getting to old, but I found it funny.

The plot is fresh and never stagnates, the dialogue is zappy, and the characters have special edges to them that make them leap off the page. Dan’s best friend, Fred, is a scream. And then, there’s the list to mention. The list of six impossible things. I love lists. There are lists all through the book and not only do they give you an insight into Dan’s life, they’re original, unusual, and give the story the unique angle it needs.

Quirky, fun, and a blast of fresh energy, Six Impossible Things is a novel I won’t forget.
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