Thursday, 12 February 2015

Rob Stevens - Would The Real Stanley Carrot Please Stand Up? - Book Review (Andersen Press)

Book Synopsis: Stanley ‘Carrot’ Harris is ginger, tubby and definitely not cool. And he has a secret: he’s adopted, and this makes him feel like he’s never quite fitted in.
On his thirteenth birthday, he receives the one thing he’s been waiting his whole life for: a card from his long-lost birth mother, asking to meet up. But Stanley isn’t sure: what if he’s a big disappointment to her? So he hatches a plan – and he’s going to need a stand-in Stanley, someone who is handsome, sporty and God’s Gift to Mothers.
What Stanley doesn’t realise is he’s about to have the most confusing time of his life . . . just who is the real Stanley Carrot?
Book Review
I was not expecting to enjoy this book as, at the moment, my reading enjoyment appears to be tuned into the nimbus clouds of fantasy worlds. Everything that I read is filled with magical monsters and based on far flung imagination. I enjoy escaping the real world and, sometimes when I'm sent a book of this nature, my heart actually sinks a little. Looking at the blurb on the back of this book, that sinking feeling washed over me, this was not the type of book that I was expecting from Rob Stevens. It was certainly very different to the other books that I have read by him before. 

The only aspect of this book that swayed me to read it was the tagline on the front of the brilliant book cover 'Laugh-out-Loud Funny'. That spurred me on to open the book, read the first pages and take a chance on the story inside the cover. I'm a sucker for a humorous storyline and this book has it in bucket loads. In summary, this book is based on reality that crashes into a truck load of humour. Stanley Carrot is the character at the heart of everything that goes crazily wrong.....

I would like to say that this book is teenage cool, just like the title. It may even refer to one of your favourite songs. However, it also deals with serious and complex issues which some teenagers may find themselves being able to relate to within this story. The main character, Stanley, has bright orange hair and is incredibly bad at sport. He lives with his adopted parents and generally feels unloved. This is further heightened by him becoming a victim of a group of nasty bullies. The story is written very sensitively and in parts was very moving. It provoked me to think deeply about the main character and to see life from his perspective.  

Another issue briefly explored within this brilliant story focused on dyslexia, which again is another difficult subject to write about. I would normally run away from such elements within a book, so what happened? Well, I actually devoured the story in one sitting, which really did surprise me very much. Sometimes the books that you shy away from become the ones that you love the most.

The contemporary plot is a mixed bag of incidents that go seriously wrong. A story about not fitting in with a crowd and exploring hidden talents that will capture the hearts of other people around you. If you're wanting to explore a book that is different, but has a great message about life this then this book is for you. 

This is a really inspiring read; one minute you will be crying tears of joy and the next minute you be weeping tears of sadness. It's a real rollercoaster of emotions and events that will stay with you for some time. However, it will leave you feeling good about yourself; it will make you smile and hug the other people around you. Like the saying goes 'if you smile, then the world will smile back at you'. If any book can do that then it is definitely worth reading and this book can. Aimed at an audience of approximately 11+, this book will be sort after by everyone, but what do you think? 
Published by Andersen on the 5th February 2015. Thank you for sending this for me to review and for taking me out of my comfort zone.

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