Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bowe
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 30th 2010 by Text Publishing
Characters : Jewel Valentine, Sacha Thomas
First sentence : “There was a boy in the lake.”
Last Sentence : “What people thought didn’t matter any more.”
Rating : 4/5 Stars
The first time we met, Jewel Valentine saved my life.
Isn’t it enough having your very own terminal disease, without your mother dying? Or your father dating your Art teacher?
No wonder Sacha Thomas ends up in the lake that Saturday evening…
But the real question is: how does he end up in love with Jewel Valentine?
With the help of quirky teenage prodigies Little Al and True Grisham, Sacha and Jewel have a crazy adventure, with a little lobster emancipation along the way.
But Sacha’s running out of time, and Jewel has secrets of her own.
Girl Saves Boy is a hugely talented debut novel, funny and sad, silly and wise. It’s a story of life, death, love… and garden gnomes.
“What’s so special about that lobster in particular?”
I turned and looked over my shoulder again, contemplating the lobster.
“It’s my mother reincarnated,’ I announced.”
From alternating perspectives, it tells the story of Jewel Valentine and Sacha Thomas, two teens who find a new lease on life after meeting each other.
Both characters have their fair share of problems. Sacha’s mother recently died, he has a terminal illness himself, and his father’s involved with his male art teacher. Jewel’s father left after the death of her brother, and her unstable mother dumped her on her grandparents. With them now both dead, she’s gone back to live with the mother she hardly knows anymore. Both characters have ample reason to be depressed – which they both are, supposedly – but neither of them give off that vibe. Indifferent, sure, but not depressed. They both talk about being weird too, but neither of them feel that quirky either.
That aside, the characters are likable, and their relationship – though rushed – has a lot of chemistry in its foundations. They go through the do-they-like-me-too? motions and feel uncertain and awkward around each other at the start, which made the relationship feel natural.
The plot was different and refreshing. It didn’t adhere to the introduction-complication-resolution format. It didn’t have a big complication or problem to solve, but focused more on the two characters’ development. It wasn’t an exciting read, but an entertaining one nonetheless. I especially loved the part with the lobster and Garden Gnomes. They were outright hilarious.
Steph Bowe writes compelling and beautiful prose, full of figurative language. I sure am interested in seeing what she has next in stores for us.