Ben Fletcher must get to grips with his more ‘feminine’ side following an unfortunate incident with a lollipop lady and a stolen bottle of Martini Rosso from Waitrose. All a big misunderstanding of course. To avoid the Young Offenders unit, Ben is ordered to give something back to the community and develop his sense of social alignment. Take up a hobby and keep on the straight and narrow. The hot teacher he likes runs a knitting group so Ben, reluctantly at first, gets ‘stuck in’. Not easy when your dad is a sports fan and thinks Jeremy Clarkson is God. To his surprise, Ben finds that he likes knitting and that he has a mean competitive streak. If he can just keep it all a secret from his mates…and notice that the girl of his dreams, girl-next-door Megan Hooper has a bit of a thing for him…Laugh-out-loud, often ridiculous, sometimes quite touching, and revelatory about the knitting world, Boys Don’t Knit is a must for boys and girls..
I heard about this book from many of my lovely bloggers that attended the Hot Key Books Blogger Event this year. They all said they saw it and thought of me. I can understand their line of thought; I love humour in my books, contemporary stories and I do love a bold cover too. I requested a review copy and was lucky enough to be sent a nice finished edition.
Ben isn’t a typical teenage boy. He’s just a bit odd compared to his hormone-driven friends that are just desperate to get in a girl’s pants and aren’t afraid to show it in public. Ben becomes an accidental criminal leading to a stint in the youth probation system. Part of the requirement of this probation is to attend evening classes and Give Back to the community. This all leads to Ben discovering he’s a sort of whiz kid at knitting and finding company with strange folk.
Written as a diary format, the comparisons to the likes of Adrian Mole are easy to make but not quite up to the same level as the original. The idea was amusing and the characters were fun to read but the story as a whole left me a tad underwhelmed. As much as I enjoyed the book, I couldn’t help but think that Ben didn’t ring true as a male character. It seemed like he was written to appear as the reverse of a male stereotype rather than just a boy who wasn’t interested in footy. I’m fussy when it comes to MCs because they are our eyes into the world when we read. If they don’t ring true enough then it’s like having dust in your eyes.
As a whole, Boys Don’t Knit is a fun read with some nice characters that I enjoyed following along on their crazy, hap-hazard adventures. I really loved the Mum and Dad with their constant double entendres, which did make me giggle. An enjoyable read with a nice message about gender stereotypes and being true to yourself, but didn’t quite hit the mark with me.