Envisage this: you’ve got your entire future perfectly outlined for a career in journalism; you have an impatient yearning to discover those all-important A-Level results; and you’re additionally a tiny bit apprehensive as to what life is plotting to conjure up in your path. Just one slight issue: what if a girl you had a short-lived fling with suddenly materialises on your doorstep, produces a virtually newborn child, informs you that it’s yours and then disappears without trace.
This is precisely the predicament confronting nineteen-year-old Dante Bridgeman, who has spent the entire morning anticipating the delivery of his A-Level grade in a somewhat overwrought fashion, only to encounter Melanie, an old flame, who appears unannounced with a tiny tot in tow. Initially, Dante thinks she’s just coming back to visit him, and the thought that this child could have ever been fathered by him never even scrapes the surface of the depths of his brain. However, the young man is soon to be on the receiving end of one of the major shocks of his life when he is presented with his daughter’s birth certificate. Yes, his.
How will he ever become a good father figure to his daughter, Emma? How will he even contemplate how to tell his father and brother, soon to arrive home after a sojourn to the doctor’s clinic? How can this baby even be his? How can someone be so unlucky? Why has this girl just dumped the child with him? These are just a fraction of some of the multitude of questions which will begin to swim through Dante’s mind as he sits and stares deeply into his daughter’s eyes.
As this novel develops, it turns out that Dante’s baby isn’t the only strife present in his family’s existence. There’s his friends to deal with as well, and not everyone in the household is finding it all plain-sailing – what about the fortunes of his younger brother, Adam (or Uncle Adam as he is now officially) who seems to spend virtually every evening outside of the Bridgeman dwelling. Why is he disappearing all of a sudden?
Admittedly, this book may not necessarily be dripping with fast cars, monsters and zombies, although it certainly does begin to pose questions about important issues which affect so many. Friendship, youth, paternity, sexuality, and family are just some which crop up as the pages turn at a rate of knots. As such, if you wish to engross yourself in a piece of literature which is funny, on occasions, though also explores so many different facets of the human condition in a gripping way, then I’d strongly recommend picking up this book.
By Glen Foster, 9A