195. Sinking Deeper or My Questionable (Possibly Heroic) Decision to Invent a Sea Monster by Steve Vernon

Sinking Deeper or My Questionable (Possibly Heroic) Decision to Invent a Sea Monster by Steve Vernon (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 160
Ages: 11+
Finished: Aug. 230, 2011
First Published: Apr. 15, 2011, Canada (Sep. 1, 2011, USA)
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Genre: YA, realistic fiction
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

My first jailbreak began when a coarse-toothed mechanic's file crashed through the window of the Deeper Harbour Police Station at two in the morning.

Acquired: Received a review copy through Library Thing's ER Program.

Reason for Reading:  I love reading great new Canadian Kids' fiction and who could pass up a title like that!

14 yo Roland MacTavish has lived in the sleepy little Nova Scotian town of Deeper Harbour all his life.  His father is the police chief and his mother is the mayor and they've been getting divorced for the last two years.  He lives back and forth between the two of them, and also spends time with his two best friends: his grandfather, Angus MacTavish, and Dulsie, a self-proclaimed "punk-goth-freakazoid" who desperately wants a tattoo but whose father won't let her so instead she paints a different tattoo on her face everyday with face paint.  Roland thinks Deeper Harbour is the pits until he finds out his mum is moving him and her to Ottawa at the end of the summer because it is a dying town and she wants to see a bit of the world while she's young enough to enjoy it.  Roland comes up with an idea to attract tourists to the town, so that it can get revitalized and change his mother's mind and what would work better than for the town to have its very own sea monster.  And with the help of his friends and an extra unexpected pair of hands, that's just what he sets out to do.

This is one of the funniest books I've read in some time.  The humour is so witty and the circumstances so hilarious I was tittering out loud.  Roland is the narrator and he has a wonderful voice and way with words, he tells events in a straightforward manner but with tongue in cheek and a certain sarcasm that his wit makes the scenes and events incredibly funny.  While a deliciously witty book the book also deals with some serious issues.  Divorce, single parent family, anxiety, living life to the fullest, expressing your individuality in a very small town and, death.  There are a few small hints of first novel-itis but the book's excellent plot, characters and humour more than make up for that.  A great new Canadian read!


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