A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
This has been a multi book reading week, I’ve done a few back to back marathon reading sessions. I really have my reading mojo in place because I cannot get enough of these books. And Lobsters was definitely a joy to get lost in for a while. In fact, I did a lot of reading aloud with this one.
Lobsters was written by two authors, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison and the story is told from two points of view, Hannah and Sam. The subtitle of Lobsters is, ‘A socially awkward love story’…and Lobsters really, really lives up to this premise. Hannah and Sam meet in the bathroom at a party and bond over a discussion about hot Ribena. At this point they don’t even know each other’s name so Hannah calls Sam, Toilet Boy. This becomes horribly awkward later on when he finds out his nickname in a pretty toe-curling blind date situation.
This is a story about finding The One. That one true love who is absolutely perfect for you, that you’ll be with forever. It’s about finding your mate for life. Your lobster*. And it’s about losing your virginity. Because that’s pretty much what most school leavers are obsessed with the summer before Uni starts.
Lobsters is one of the most hilarious books I’ve read for a long time. It’s cringe making. It’s guffaw inducing. And it’s full of absolute read aloud one liners. I had trouble holding myself back from grabbing the nearest person and yelling, ‘You have to listen to this bit, it’s SO FUNNY.’
I couldn’t watch any more. I turned around and pushed my way out of the kitchen. I was about to head into the living room to try to find Robin and Chris when I heard what was unmistakeably Robin’s high-pitched cackle coming from inside the cupboard under the staircase.
I opened the door, and a cloud of weed smoke hit me full in the face. I peered through it to see Robin and Ben crouched inside, smoking a spliff the size of a Cornetto. This probably makes the spliff sound impressive. It wasn’t. It had major structural design flaws.
Robin threw his hands up in greeting. ‘Yes, Sam! We’re hot-boxing Harry Potter’s bedroom,’ he laughed, clearly not realizing that any credibility he hoped to gain from talking about hot-boxing was immediately wiped out by his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Harry Potter franchise.
‘Come on in!’ said Ben, a Cheshire cat grin splitting his face in two. He was very, very stoned.
I shuffled inside and shut the door behind me.
The characters are fabulous. Robin and his serious Harry Potter obsession is fantastic, especially when he uses every opportunity to philosophise on the world of the boy wizard. Pax is a lovely, nice, kind exceedingly hot boy, very against stereotype. Hannah has brilliant friends in Grace and Tilly. And her gran is utterly brilliant! You have no choice but to love Hannah’s gran!
But Lobsters isn’t only a funny book. It has a lot of serious stuff going on about friendship and dealing with parents expectations and knowing yourself. There is a lot of depth behind the laughs, especially where it comes to respecting yourself and not just jumping into bed with absolutely anyone as a last resort. That never ends well.
This isn’t a book for younger teens unless you’re desperate to get them to read, under any circumstances and don’t mind the content. There’s drinking, swearing, drug taking, throwing up a lot and a ton of graphic (and often funny and awkward) sex descriptions. But this is a book about leaving school and moving on to University and all the exam result stress and the going on holiday with/without parents stress and the still being a virgin stress. It’s a joyous, awkward, red faced, riot of a book. Don’t read it in public though, unless you want some serious side-eye or are willing to grab people and read bits aloud. I had no problem with doing all of these.
*P.S…Hannah does eventually find out that lobsters don’t actually mate for life. She’s gutted. But don’t worry, everything is fine