I loved Tom Clempson’s book One Seriously Messed-Up Week in the otherwise mundane and Uneventful life of Jack Samsonite and I just knew my cousin Alex would too. He’s the same age as Jack in the book and I was really interested to hear what he thought about the book and to be honest if any of it was true…do boys REALLY think like that? So I asked him to read it and review it for me and this is what I got. Over to Alex:
I recently turned 16. I am studying for my GCSE’s. I want to get into the business of acting. I still laugh at crude jokes. This explains why I read the events that occurred in the seriously messed-up week of Jack Samsonite. That and my cousin threatened me. Yes, she is a lot older than me. I’ll admit, I am a very slow reader, it takes me ages to read a book and towards the end of a book it starts to become a marathon, without the taking a whizz or having a dump on a road in front of millions of people (yes, I did chuckle a bit there). Yet with this book, I didn’t want it to end, I wished I could just follow Jack Samsonite on twitter to see how he gets on with life and all its weird and wonderful events within it.
Unfortunately, there is no twitter for him, so for now I just have to hope and wait to see if a movie is made or Clempson decides to write another. Anyway, back on to the review (I like to stray off the point a little bit…just an FYI). Whilst reading this book I felt as if Samsonite was actually talking to me because of these two reasons: most teenage boy conversations consist of pretty much the whole book and Clempson wrote it as if he was Jack Samsonite and that he was writing this journal to you.
He lets you into the characters most private feelings and ‘Top 3’s’ for the most obscure things. My favourite of his top 3 of anything was ‘Nob-Ache’. Not just because it has a rude word in it (another chuckle), although that does play a part, but also because I believe that most teenage boys can actually relate to it. The 3 missions of Jack’s are: 1. pass his GCSE’s (for the teenagers who actually use their brain), 2. get the girl to notice he exists (the main subject of conversation for teenage boys is females) and 3. survive the week without a serious face punching (luckily I have not had this experience but its still a goal I like to complete by the end of my time at secondary school). All of these three missions are probably on any teenager’s Facebook/twitter/tumblr/blog etc. Obviously apart from the second one which can vary between people, but I digress. So, I have to come to the small conclusion that Clempson is actually a 15-year-old boy trapped in an older man’s body (you never know) or, the more logical explanation; he just really understands the mind of a teenage boy. There was a small part of me hoping it was the first one, I have to admit.
I love this book for another reason, which was because it shows what category of teens nowadays are actually low in teen hierarchy: the creative types. The sporty ones don’t understand them one bit when the artists talk of Shakespeare, Van Gogh, the Rolling Stones, and at times Star Wars (not that I EVER talk about that…). The academics don’t understand the logic in losing yourself in becoming someone else in drama, losing yourself in music and expressing your subconscious in art. I can proudly admit, that I am very much into acting, so according to Clempson, I am low in hierarchy, which, unfortunately, I can believe. Like Jack, I also like playing with other boys minds talking about Shakespeare and Jimi Hendrix, and watching their face go into major confusion.
Overall, I really enjoyed the reading of this book, as I could relate to every aspect of it, even if I hadn’t experienced it myself, it was more than likely that I knew someone who had. So I say to Tom Clempson, what more bad tidings can you bring to poor Jack? Unfortunately for Jack, Clempson is bringing out a second book next year. (Evil laugh’s accepted at this point).
Thanks so much to Alex for his review and even though it took him forever to send it, lol. If you wanna see my review you can click here.