Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Humor/Coming of Age/YA
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words
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With the exception of the bit in the book description which says the book was written by a stand-up comedian, I was unable to find out anything about the author, Collin Mitchell.
“Matthew Willard and the Quest to Kiss a Girl is a humor novel written by a stand-up comedian about what it feels like to have a high school crush, and how it feels when that crush inevitably stomps on your heart.
The story begins with Matthew’s initial challenge in middle school – to kiss the girl of his dreams. After a serious of failures and mishaps, it progresses to his high school objective – finding any girl above a 'six' who will let him stick his tongue in her mouth for a split second. Along the way Matthew and his snarky friends attend carnival freak shows, encounter muscle bound Christian life coaches, and learn why nothing good ever happens when you put on a Speedo.”
This book is humorous while still feeling real, hitting the right notes on what it's like for a reasonably typical boy growing up. We follow the protagonist, Matthew Willard, from sixth grade until high school graduation, and his quest to kiss a girl. (If he gets one kiss, making out can't be too far behind.) Much of what Matthew and his friends went through gave me flashbacks of my school years many years ago.
An example of the way a boy of a certain age thinks and the humor inherent in that is this line:
“The best out-of-town girls where the ones from small towns, because they have limited access to boys they’re not related to.”
The theory being that a hot small town girl visiting the state fair would be more likely to kiss Matthew or one of his friends, not realizing that he wasn't that great of a catch. Unfortunately this quote shows a minor instance of an issue that was widespread. Specifically, this book is in drastic need of copy-editing. Sometimes these errors made me laugh (a beautiful girl telling Matthew “put your hands on my waste” was one). More often it just irritated me as I tried to work out what was intended, just moving past one error and getting back into the flow when I'd trip on another. There is a fun story here, but unless you're much more forgiving of these types of errors than I am, it might not be worth the effort.
Some adult language.
Numerous issues with grammar, homonym errors, wrong words, missing words. Pretty much any kind of issue that should be shaken out as a part of the copy-editing and proofreading process makes an appearance somewhere.
Rating: ** Two Stars