STARRED REVIEW "With small details about throwing up, basil, Romeo and Juliet, brown birds, postcards, and sex, Earls build a too-true story that neither older young adults nor adults will be able to put down as their smiles become belly laughs that lead them to new perspectives." VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
Dan's narration is wry and understatedly funny throughout as he comes face to face with the stretching but still extant limits of his maturation...this is a creative departure from the classic Bildugnsroman in its articulate portrayal of a young man who's starting to realize how much more there is to adulthood that he'd realized or is ready for.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Older teens will relish Dan's wry, self-deprecating honesty about attratction, sex (mostly overheard), beer, calculus, and his uproariously funny, earnest search for the kind of guy he wants to be.
Dan is a good kid, and his ruefully observed narration of unrequited love will keep the attention of any boy once persuaded into its pages.
Through Dan's voice, Earls perfectly captures the obsessive, self-conscious, confused state of mind that goes along with adolescence. A vibrant rendition of growing pains.
Dan is a wonderful, complex character. Teen boys - and girls - will find much that they can relate to in this coming-of-age story.
School Library Journal
This Australian coming-of-age novel is both funny and poignant. As Dan fumbles through the process of forming a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, he also learns about making pesto, interpreting Romeo and Juliet, why almost all birds are one of the 48 shades of brown, and why his best course of action is just to be himself.