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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review: We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story by Josh Sundquist
Stand Alone Novel
Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 336
Genre: Memoir 

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

A bright, poignant, and deeply funny autobiographical account of coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, from Josh Sundquist: Paralympic ski racer, YouTube star, and motivational speaker.
Josh Sundquist only ever had one girlfriend.For twenty-three hours.In eighth grade.
Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date and asked them straight up: What went wrong?
The results of Josh's semiscientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured here. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided "grand gesture" at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love--or at least a girlfriend--in all the wrong places.

*An advanced readers copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

We Should Hang Out Sometime was funny, fantastical, and the voice that Josh Sundquist presents as we are transported back and forth between young, prepubescent Josh in his quest to get a girlfriend, and adult Josh finding the blip in his failed attempts, is engrossing from beginning to end. I'm also a fan of the fact that we're given a male-POV and the fact that it was an autobiographical account of a young man in his mid-twenties looking back at his "treasure-map-of-girls-past" in order to figure out X, why he could never land a girlfriend, made me enjoy reading the book from start to finish. Some might find this out of the ordinary for a young adult novel, but I find it to be a diamond in the ruff. Though it doesn't quite fit the category in the sense of the adult looking back on childhood all the way through college, the journey to self-discovery and coming-of-age does give this book "young adult" merit.

 Though the novel mainly focuses on the dead-end romantic encounters, the reader also is given insight to the little pieces of childhood of entering school, making friends, having crushes, liking best friends, awkward romantic encounters, wanting things to be "perfect" and "magical", but also being given them through the eyes of a cancer survivor, a boy with an amputated leg, and the struggle to fit in and belong becomes throughout adolescence.

The end notes that are scattered throughout the entire work as well as the sarcasm that floats around through the narrative made it a jovial and fun-filled read. Not only that, but Josh's engrossing and conversational voice pulled me into the novel from the get-go.

Let's talk about the spectrum of girls listed in the novel. Some of them where much higher on the spectrum of noteworthiness like Sarah Stevens (the first girl mentioned in the novel) or even Sasha Wright (Miss North Dakota entry for Miss America) , and Lily (the college crush) as well, where there were specifics surrounding them that allowed them to bubble to the surface and stay fashioned in my head while going through a whole novel of unobtainable female partners. This whole novel's premise is the reason behind Josh's girlfriendlessness from eighth grade until post-college. The spectrum ranges a whole slew of girls of all ages, and many of them are in and out of the reader's head momentarily. But while some are more worthwhile to read about, the roller coaster of the almost-relationship with each girl, memorable or not, is fun to read about. Despite young Josh's inability to read the moment back when he was younger, and the scientific analysis of each relationship is quirky and humorously entertaining.

For fans of graphics in novels, there are many fun pie charts, ven diagrams, and graphs that correspond with the loony and awkward moments throughout the book. They were fun to spot while reading and added to the authenticity of this book.

Final Summation: We Should Hang Out Sometime was a spectacular, fast-paced read. I sat down by the fire and read it in one sitting. A fun book to read during those cold winter days or even nights. One that I would recommend snuggling with by a toasty fire. The sarcastic humor, the reminiscent nature surrounding those wondering thoughts of "what went wrong?", and even has you looking back on your past romantic encounters. I found myself wondering if I was ever as awkward as Josh had been when he perused love. Anyway, a novel I definitely recommend!

Four targets slayed for Close Fast Dancing (CFD)