Published: January 1st 2012, Templar
Pages: 361 pages, ARC
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): There's no easy way to put this, so I'll say it straight out. It's time I faced up to the truth. I'm fourteen years old and I have Ishmael Leseur's Syndrome. There is no cure. And there is no instant cure to not fitting in. But that won't stop Ishmael and his intrepid band of misfits from taking on bullies, bugs, babes, the Beatles, debating, and the great white whale in the toughest, the weirdest, the most embarrassingly awful...and the best year of their lives.
My review: First off, let me just say that I'm a huge fan of Australian YA. Every book I've tried I've loved and I'm definitely on a quest to try as much as I can - if anyone has any recommendations let me know in the comments!
I think one of the things I love about this one is the slang used; it really helped to give the book distinct time and place and it felt very current. I'm sure this one is going to be a huge hit with boys who have just outgrown the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.
Ishmael is a great protagonist, so realistic and full of the flaws we all had at that age. He's constantly picked on by the school bully and his social skills aren't up to much but he has his friends and a sense of humour that helps him make the best of a bad situation. As we follow Ishmael and co on their journey throughout a school year we see them grow and change as the story develops, ending the book a little older and a lot wiser than when they started.
Don't Call Me Ishmael is such a fun read. It had me laughing out loud more than once and I had a grin on my face the entire time it was in my hand. This book will cheer you up and get you through the horrible grey days we have at the moment.
In short, Don't Call Me Ishmael is a wonderful coming of age story that I absolutely recommend to both boys and girls. If you've ever felt like you don't quite belong then you'll love this one. A completely gem that I'm so glad I didn't miss.
First line: 'There's no easy way to put this, so I'll just say it straight out.'
Read if you liked…: Swim the Fly - Don Calame
Total: 15/20 (B)