Thursday, April 28, 2011
title: After January
Author: Nick Earls
first published: 1996 University of Queensland Press
Meet Alex Delaney, awkward teenage boy of 17 waiting for the 20th of January, the day the university offers are printed in the appear. school is over, a far off memory, the future has to wait, and here is Alex stuck in the middle. he and his mum are at their beach house, expecting a normal summer, of early morning swims, reading, pool and poetry with Len next door and cricket. as long as Alex can remember this has been summer, slowly though people have stopped coming and development has changed the little town, this summer Alex meets a girl.
this is a fabulous summer romance told from the perspective of the guy, which I've never read before. it was charming, are very realistic, it was sweet in parts, but in a believable way. i think the thing that made it so true to life was the awkwardness. this was their first relationship, there were awkward moments, meeting parents, being given money for condoms because 'protection is important' or offering to fix a car when you have no clue about engines.
Alex is a quiet, deep thinking, poetry writer, and just gorgeous. he isn't characterture, or based on a stereotype of jerky jock or unbelievably sweet, but not cute guy, which are the typical boys in romance, he fits in the middle. he can't fix a car, but he makes a great loaf of bread. it's nice to get a story that's about average people, not broken souls, like in Sarah dessen (though i love her work) this is about talking to a girl because you have noting to lose, kissing on the beach and falling asleep holding hands. NO SEX! it's a sweet novel about a summer of growth. have i raved enough yet? all the characters are unique and hold their own. the relationships they all have with each other and Alex add to the story. Len and Alex are funny, talking cricket, poetry and pool each summer, and Fortuna's mother and father and so different, yet in love.
it's also has talk of parents lives, not as parents but as people, respecting the environment/anti-development talk and what you're offering the world, where you want to go. this makes it a deep novel and is well aimed for teenagers, though i found it a touch hard to read, but i think that was my mood. it isn't exactly a page turner or an all- time favourite, but it is probably my favourite teenage romance, it's what i want from my 1st boyfriend.