Grow Up – Ben Brooks

17 Aug

Publisher: House of Anansi Press
Released:  May 12, 2012
Genre: YA contemp
Review copy from publisher

YouTube suicides, possible pregnancies, drug comedowns, and getting straight As — meet Jasper: a seventeen-year-old with his hands full. Weekdays are packed with visits to the psychologist, mounting parental pressure to achieve in school, scouring the Internet for porn, and trying to figure out whether his stepfather murdered his ex-wife. Weekends are focused on finding the next party, the best drugs, and sex — preferably with Georgia Treely — but really with anyone he can get.

From House of Anansi Press website.

First of all, the fact that the author is nineteen is INSANE! This is the first book by a teen that I’ve not only been able to get through, but that I absolutely loved.

This book is wrong on so many levels, which is what makes it absolutely amazing. I mean, Jasper is a seriously f-cked up dude. I would not want to sit next to him on a bus, in a class or anywhere for that matter. The inner workings of this kid’s brain makes me once again thankful for my decision not to have kids. But despite this fact I couldn’t get enough of him. He was so brilliantly written that I was FASCINATED with him from the first line.

If you have any issue with sex or drug use in books, stay away. Far, far away. Cuz Grow Up has plenty of both.  But neither came off as being sensational or thrown in for shock factor. Sex and drugs are just such an integral part of Jasper’s life.

This book is set in Britain, so some of the grammar and such took a bit of getting used to. But there was tea drinking in almost every scene, which made me love it all the more. 🙂

While there were a couple of different plots in Grow Up, this was definitely a character driven book. And with Jasper being such a different, strong, weird character, it set the perfect tone.

If you like your YA contempt very real, very gritty, and at times very screwed up, then I can’t recommend Grow Up enough.

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