Notes from the Blender by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Keywords: divorce, growing up, family
Format Read: ARC from publisher (thank you!)
Summary: Declan loves death metal--particularly from Finland. And video games--violent ones. And internet porn--any kind, really. He goes to school with Neilly Foster and spends most of his classroom time wondering what it might be like to know her, to talk to her, maybe even to graze against her sweater in the hallway. Neilly is an accomplished gymnast, naturally beautiful, and a constant presence at all the best parties (to which Declan is never invited). She's the queen of cool, the princess of poker face, and her rule is uncontested-- or it was until today, when she's dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her former BFF Lulu, and then informed she's getting a new brother--of the freaky fellow classmate variety. Declan's dad is marrying Neilly's mom. Soon. Which means they'll be moving in together.
I'll start off by saying that I think the summary is a little misleading. The story does not revolve around Declan's struggle with liking Neilly. It actually is a really interesting story, and it makes me sad that the summary seems to focus on only that.
The book follows their journey to becoming good friends and discovering a little bit more about themselves along the way. I liked Declan, but I thought it was weird how much he talked about sex. I mean, obviously guys do. But we could just assume that, and I was a little tired of reading it every chapter. By the same stroke, Neilly was a stereotypical girl, and I got annoyed at her constant "What should I do?" and "OMG I HATE HER."
But aside from that, it was a pretty cute story. I really enjoyed the development between Neilly and her personal faith. She ended up attending this cute little unitarian church that Declan's aunt (I think?) was either a member of or preached at. It was the best part of the book, as that was where the characters were truest to themselves and they actually learned things. I liked that.
Not a whole lot to say about the rest of it. Not a bad read if you've got nothing else to do. The title also earned an extra point by itself. I like the title.