Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Early Review: 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

This book was just...wow. I've never misjudged a book by its cover - I'm pretty talented when it comes to judging books by their clothes - but in the case of '100 Sideways Miles', I was terribly wrong. When I first saw the book on Instagram, I was shocked at how plain, boring, and weird the cover was. I wondered why anyone would give a book such an ugly cover (I just mentally flinched at the word ugly). While I was reading the novel however, everything started clicking into place, and now every time I look at the cover, all I see is pain and beauty.

By the first 6% of the story I was confused, feeling stupid, and wondering just what i had gotten myself into. The narration reminded me a bit of 'Looking For Alaska', a book I distinctly remember not liking, and I was scared that '100 Sideways Miles' would turn out the same way. Boy was I wrong.

Finn is just such an amazing main character. He thinks in distance instead of time, and has views about the world that amazed me, and want to make me recommend this book to every single person on this Earth. His mother died when he was little: a horse fell on her. Oh, and he's epileptic. I know I'm barely making any sense right now, but I went from hating the fact that I was stuck in the mind of a teenage boy (yes, there were A LOT of thoughts about sex) to loving every second of it and wondering what Finn would say next. I grew emotionally attached, and if he hadn't ended up with his special funnily ever after happily ever after then I probably would have had a horse fall on me too.

Julia Bishop was another of my favorite characters in the novel - along with Finn's father - and I loved every second of the relationship she had with Finn, especially since nothing could get quirkier than them as a couple. Sure, there were moments in their romance where I mentally gagged or wanted to start yelling at one or the other, but they made an adorable couple, and they were perfect for each other. I have a feeling that fans who shipped August and Hazel from TFIOS would have a field day with this pair.

Like most coming-of-age stories, the best part is seeing how much the main character changes from the beginning to the end, and also figuring out which parts of him are the same. From the very beginning, Finn has an identity problem. You see, his author of a dad named a character in his book after him, and that same book was read by everyone and literally almost caused a war with Christians, Muslims, and Jews everywhere. It was a very controversial book you see, with what were considered angels coming to Earth, and raping, then eating, everyone on the planet. And of course the character Finn not only has the same double-colored eyes, but also the same scar on his back. And by the way in the story he's also one of those man-eating "angels". But of course I'll let you read the details on how Finn is stuck in a book and can't get out. Trust me though when I say it's a comedic, heartwarming story you won't want to miss.

'100 Sideways Miles' is an unexpected, wonderfully written novel about a young boy who doesn't understand his place in the world, with a fate that he feels is sealed within the pages of his father's book. It'll take an worldly young girl and a naked hero of a best friend to set him on the right path, but only Finn himself can determine how his story ends.

Book Synopsis: Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

Source: Received a copy from Simon & Schuster for review.

Title: 100 Sideways Miles
Author: Andrew Smith
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 288 pages