Sunday, 5 July 2015

Book Review: Flick by Abigail Tarttelin

Flick by Abigail Tarttelin
Publication Date: May 19th, 2015
Format: eARC from Netgalley

From the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of Golden Boy comes Abigail Tarttelin's debut novel, written when she was just nineteen and never before published in America, a modern-day Romeo and Juliet about sex, love, and growing up.

My name is Flick and these are my images of my disconnected life, my forgettable weeks and unforgettable weekends. I am one of the disaffected youth.

Marooned by a lack of education (and lack of anything better to do), Will Flicker, a.k.a. "Flick," spends most days pondering the artistry behind being a stoner, whether Pepsi is better than Coke, and how best to get clear of his tiny, one-horse suburb. But Flick senses there’s something else out there waiting for him, and the sign comes in the form of the new girl in town—a confident, unconventionally beautiful girl named Rainbow. As their relationship develops, Flick finds himself torn between the twisted loyalty he feels to his old life and the pull of freedom that Rainbow represents.

The story unfolds in a small factory town in northern England, where bleak and sometimes treacherous circumstances make the taste of a love affair even sweeter. Told with humor and raw honesty, in a voice "both authentic and compelling" (GQ, UK), Flick captures an unforgettable moment in the life of a young man on the verge.

Within the first couple of chapters of this book, I found myself extra excited for this because it reminded me so much of Skins UK. I'm still disappointed in myself for not watching all of the seasons yet... but I fell in love with the show. It was raw and straight to the point - something you rarely ever see in TV shows. Well, at least not with the intensity that this show brought. I could probably talk about it lots.

So, yeah, needless to say it's something I'm passionate about. I was hoping this would be the same for the book. I guess I should have learned earlier on not to give a new release book high standards. Ooops. I still think of Skins when I read this book... but the US version and, I can tell you right now, it's not really good. It's not.

I think one of the biggest flaws with this book is that there wasn't that much interaction between Rainbow and Flick. We could tell that Flick loved this girl a lot. In fact, she was one of the few things he thought about for quite a while. A lot. In fact when his friends tried to talk to him he was so focused on Rainbow that he found it rude when anyone wanted to talk about anything other than Rainbow. Have I mentioned Rainbow yet? She's pretty cute. Her two moms are sweet and her brother is... okay. But Rainbow's adorable and those eyes--

If you think this is annoying, you'll probably be annoyed reading this book too.

On top of that, Flick has been involved in drugs for a certain amount of time. Life is stressful alongside classes and schoolwork and deciding his future when he turns sixteen years old. But, other than that, life is okay. He learned how to reach the perfect amount of stoned - enough to feel the effects but not enough for a teacher to noticed as its still illegal for a teenager like him to use recreational drugs. It's part of his daily routine and a few of his friends are involved as well.

Except for Rainbow. She's always been firmly against anything that's toxic in a person's body and she becomes constantly disappointed with Flick getting stoned. So now Flick has two options: keep following the lifestyle he slowly grew to... or make himself clean so he could potentially stay with the 'love of his life', Rainbow.

You can feel the motivation in Flick in order to be better... at least for a little bit. It gets overshadowed by the fact that the book put a lot of focus on his friends and drug trades more than the actual romance. When you find yourself at the romance parts, it's pretty nauseating with how everything is worded. Charming but... way too fluffy. The language was probably too flowery for a teenager I think. But, even so, it feels like he didn't even attempt to clean himself like he promised Rainbow he would. In fact, he found himself paranoid about a couple things like how she remains connected with her exes and such.

Flick's an intelligent person. He just ended up in the wrong crowd and he just never attempted to get out of it. I can hardly say that I feel bad for him as he brought it on himself.

This would be better if it was longer, with crucial scenes, and the fluff was taken out. As it is, it's just... eh. But there's definitely potential. I'm curious to see what Miss Tarttelin writes next.

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