*I received this novel from Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: We Should Hang Out Sometime
Author: Josh Sundquist
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A bright, poignant, and deeply funny autobiographical account of coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, from Josh Sundquist: Paralympic ski racer, YouTube star, and motivational speaker.Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date and asked them straight up: What went wrong? The results of Josh’s semiscientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured here. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided “grand gesture” at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love–or at least a girlfriend–in all the wrong places.
I had no clue who Josh Sundquist was when I first picked up this book to read. I had an e-galley of this book, and it sounded amusing–young guy who’s never had a girlfriend, could be interesting. What I stumbled into was an extremely hilarious, awkward turtle of a story of failed attempts at romance and a boy so clueless about love that it’s almost painful at times. I zipped through this read. It’s quick and witty and charming. After reading this story, I can now say that I follow Josh both on YouTube and Twitter and am looking forward to more hilarity.
Josh as a narrator is absolutely hilarious. He structures his romantic encounters in a very “scientific” way: introduction, question, hypothesis, investigation, and ultimately, conclusion. Complete with hand drawn graphs! He’s entertaining and half of the stories have you face-palming at his obliviousness. His younger self is endearing and comical, while the older Josh–the writer Josh– looks back insightfully with an eagerness to learn just where things went wrong.
In a world where there are heavy expectations to have been in a relationship (or many) at such a young age and not having any sort of relationship or romantic encounter by the time you’re in your 20s is considered strange by much of the population, it’s a refreshing breath of fresh air to read a story about a man who fumbled his way through crushes and didn’t have any sort of romantic relationship until he was well into his 20s. I related so well to his story–the awkward crushes, the misinterpreted signals, the unrequited love. Josh’s is a story of how finding love at such a young age should be: sure sometimes frustrating and painful, but for the most part innocent, awkward, fun and pure.
At it’s heart, Josh reveals, his story is one of self-confidence and self-image. It’s a coming-of-age story about a boy, growing into a man while learning to navigate the world of love and embarking on a journey of self-discovery. It’s a light-hearted, fun read.