Review: One Seriously Messed-Up Week-end in the Otherwise Un-messed-up Life of Jack Samsonite


Jack Samsonite’s Foolish Plan for Being Amazing at Everything

(including getting a life, getting into Film School, and getting into a girl’s knickers)

1.Make an amazing(ly bad) short film about zombies . . . or maybe superheroes . . . or just three idiot friends. It has to be deep and meaningful and (most importantly) has to have a scene where I kiss a girl on the mouth.

2.Write the world’s best university application ever! (Or at least one that doesn’t make me seem like a nob).

3.Don’t get expelled trying to complete 1 & 2.

It can’t possibly fail… right?


WARNING: This review is for the sequel to One Seriously Messed Up Week… by Tom Clempson so you’ve had a warning if you haven’t read the first one.  There may be spoilers of the 1st book in this review.  Also rude words.

So what’s been going on with Jack Samsonite since his seriously messed up week?  This book is set a few years on from the 1st book and Jack is now 17.   He’s at the awful stage in  life when you think you have more freedom and power in 6th form but really you’ve now got more work, badgering to decide your university choices and thus your whole future.  No pressure for this superhero right?  If only.  Jack has a weekend to write his personal statement, decide on a university and course, get a girl to get it on with him and film his final film project for media class.  In true Jack Samsonite style along with a few new and familiar faces he makes a pig’s ear of it.

I was a fanatic fan of the first book because it was one of the very few books that had me in fits of laughter.  It completely captured my interests and attacked my funny bone.  This 2nd book had the same effect though I did feel like it was the same bone being tickled.  The first book was very original and had wonderful character relationships whereas this book felt like we were being given the laughs but the characters were there to be toyed with for comedy purposes.

One thing I wasn’t keen on was the time scale because the idea that ALL that stuff happened in a few days is almost so crazy I had to just ignore the time scale to enjoy the rest of the book.  It didn’t seem to me like all that stuff could happen in that short of time.  I adored Em and if I was her I would have been exactly the same towards Jack and his constant crazy dramas; a dear friend who was tiresome of the Samsonite shennanigans.  At least he had his male cohorts, James and Tim, to balance him out though they seemed to have their own oddities and life problems to deal with.  Everyone is having a bit of a messed-up weekend but at least he had a rabble of rogues beside him.

A funny book that won’t leave you short on laughs and some slight sickness (seriously; the description of bowel moments and lack thereof is disgusting) but I was surprised that even though Jack is now 17 he still hadn’t changed in the head.  It was the same Jack but taken the drama up to 11 when I would have liked to see the drama at a comfortable 7 and more growth in him as a person.  I know boys have a “thing” about their little fellas but I would think it wouldn’t consume their every other thought along with boobs.  I can’t base this on personal experience obviously but I’d hope that isn’t all they think about.  It would worry me a bit if they did.  Jack Samsonite will please you for the laughs but it might not please everyone.

Published by Atom Books and is available here and bookshops on March 7th

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