Swim the Fly

>> Monday, November 21, 2011

Author: Don Calame
Recommended Age: Young Adult
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4776-6
Year Published: 2009
No. Pages: 345
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Main Character Gender: Male
Read & Reviewed by: Morgan

Matt and his two close buddies Sean and Coop set a goal for themselves every summer from collecting a thousand golf balls to attempting to get a password for an illegal porn website. This summer, they plan on getting a glimpse of a real live naked girl, a far-reaching goal considering none of them have ever even been on a date. To add to his challenges, Matt volunteers to swim the 100-metre butterfly at the swim meet, all to impress a new girl. He can barley swim the stroke but with a whole summer ahead of him what could possibly go wrong?

This book really pulled me in with its suspense because I was wondering what the three boys were going to do next in their attempt to complete their mission. I wondered if they were going to get caught following one of their crazy plans. For example, when the boys dressed up as females and then snuck into the women’s changing rooms at their local community centre, I was on edge, desperate to read more. As a reader, I was wanting them to get caught and dreading it all at the same time.

Calame has created a hilarious read. So much so, I found myself laughing until I cried. Swim the Fly will appeal to anyone who likes a good joke about bodily dysfunctions. Humour and hormones fuelled the novel and even though some adults might question a diarrhea disaster or a barfing spectacle as distasteful, I loved it. It was refreshing to read teenage humour and just enjoy the read.

This book was written in first person narrative from Matt’s perspective. This allowed me to understand the full range of Matt’s emotions and see how he views people. Matt is easy going and seemed to me the kind of friend to count on; someone who could keep a secret. Don Calame used the characters in the book to show sensitivity to how awkward, uncertain and frustrated we male teenagers can be. What is interesting is that it is the first in the trilogy, in which each novel is written from a different point of view. Each of the three friends narrates one of the books. The second book is Beat the Band written from Coop’s point of view and this is soon to be followed by a third book entitled Call the Shots written from Sean’s point of view. These different viewpoints allow the reader to stay connected with their favourite characters and what happens to them while getting a different take each time.

I would recommend this book to both males and females but I think males would appreciate the humour that much more. I read this novel in less than a week and I laughed and loved every minute of it.

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