This Review contains spoilers.
“I wouldn’t call a handsome young man like Harry holding your hand a ‘misunderstanding’. I’d call it a bloody result!”
Published: 2017, by Scholastic.
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Fiction, Romance.
Contains: Crude Humour, Strong language, Bullying, Mentions of Homophobia.
‘Noah Can’t Even’ is a slice-of-life story revolving around high school student, Noah, and his best friend, Harry. After being invited to his first party by his crush, Sophie, Noah brings him along for moral support as he plans to finally admit his feelings. However, after many drinks he pair kiss, which leads to confusion and drama until an eventually established relationship.
I loved this book, finding the overall multiple plot lines entertaining til the end where all loose ends are tied in an Agatha Christie style interrogation and reveal. Although, I initially picked up this book for the LGBT story line revolving around the two main characters, I didn’t mind the fact that it wasn’t as much as a main focus as I assumed it would be. Noah’s desperation for popularity and how his lies helped him find it hooked me a lot more at times, along with Jess’ teenage pregnancy dilemma.
Noah’s characterisation, a fifteen year old awkward nerd, was perfect, his mannerisms and dialogue screaming the victim of High School tormentors, whereas his friend Harry seemed slightly more casual and welcomed, until his sexuality is publicised. Throughout the entire book I was grinning, Noah’s internal and external dialogue was hysterical, and the Rom-com like scenarios he finds himself in fit for television.
Simon James Green managed to picture high school perfectly, the ferocious teasing and immature humour made me think of my own years without force, relating immediately to Noah’s struggle. Eric’s character was also a relatable one, confirming that everyone knew a rebel like him back in school, and others like Jess and Sophie were also easy to recall. However, the character I loved most was Noah’s Grandmother, a dementia sufferer, finding the plot line of her attempting to escape her care home and the random anecdotes she’d make between words of wisdom hilarious.
From start to finish this book is full of action and comedy, feeling similar to an episode of ‘The Inbetweeners’ at times with the situations the protagonist finds himself in. Although, I do wish there were more chapters revolving around Noah and Harry’s now established relationship, I still found it an easy and enjoyable read.