Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Free Pizza by G.C. McRae : A Review

Book Details:

Book Title: Free Pizza by G.C. McRae
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction, 360 pages
Genre: Humorous Fiction
Publisher: MacDonald Warne Media
Release date: May 1, 2019
Tour dates: May 1 to 17, 2019
Content Rating: PG (No sex or drugs, just mild expletives such as "hell" and "damn".)

Book Description:

Brian McSpadden is always hungry. Does he have a disease? Worms? Does it have something to do with his being adopted? He spends his days at his crazy friend Danny’s house, hoping for snacks, but nothing seems to fill the void.

Then Brian receives a mysterious birthday card that says, Free Pizza. He soon discovers the card has nothing to do with food and everything to do with the big questions in his life: where did I come from, why did my mother give me up and is there anyone out there who will like me the way I am?

To read reviews, please visit G.C. McRae's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

When I first heard of this book, it was naturally the title that held my complete attention. The second thing I noticed was the brilliantly designed cover that added the right amount of interest. Together they conveyed what the book was going to be about. A middle-grader level read about life and its confusions. 

I would not term this novel as a 'coming-of-age' story but it surely does deal with a lot of teenage angst and confusions that are common with that age where the line between childhood and adulthood blends. I loved how there was no pretense about the book being anything other than what it was advertised as. 

As to the story, the first person narrative can be a hit or miss for the readers. Brian can either be a character you relate with or someone you find as a slightly tiring narrator depending upon how you look at him. Though I could not relate or sympathise with the voice of Brian, I liked the continuous progression of events that made up the book leading Brian to his answers.

The premise of a search for his biological family keeps the novel going as Brian and Danny enter into slightly unlikely situations that make up for an interesting adolescent life. Brian is that typical teen protagonist who leads a previously boring life that is about to change abruptly one day (it does) and someone who gets caught helping out friends who get into trouble, though they do nothing wrong themselves. And it is Brian's voice that takes the book ahead, with all his confusions and doubts that can make almost all middle-graders nod in agreement and laugh out loud.

Though I could see that it was specifically put that way, to mimic the talks of a teenage narrator, I was not a fan of the abundance of slang. The usage of the word 'like' in between the narration makes it look like Brian is talking directly to the reader, agreed. But it also makes the language look forced. I did not have many problems with the usage of curse words, which is within permissible limits and quite common to middle-graders these days.

I personally liked the overall effect of the book despite having problems with its language and the one-dimensional narration. The story delivered what it promised and will be a hit with readers who fall in that age bracket. Maybe it will work completely as a life-changing story with the way it injects scenes into the main storyline. The deviations and distractions that make up the story serve their purpose - keep the reader entertained and hooked. 

Free Pizza is that book I would ask a middle grader to read if they wanted a light, relatable read that would make them snigger in agreement with the narration. The book is categorised as humour and it does elicit laughs. If your style of humour appreciation is different, this book might just not be for you. Otherwise, it is a good one-time read that may take you back to your teens and the bumbling confusions that come with that age.

An interesting book that delivered what it promised with the summary. 

Meet the Author:

G.C. McRae is the bestselling author of two young adult novels, three illustrated children's books and a collection of original fairy tales. His writing is fall-down funny, even when the theme is darker than a coal miner's cough. McRae reads to anybody at any time, in person or online, for free, which probably explains why he meets so many people and sells so many books.

In his latest work, Free Pizza, McRae spins the highly emotional themes from his decidedly unfunny childhood into a brilliantly comic yarn. After being given up for adoption by his teenage mom back when single girls were forced to hide unplanned pregnancies, his adoptive parents didn’t exactly keep him under the stairs but, well, let's just say, there were spiders.

A lot has changed since then. McRae’s own children have now grown and he runs a small farm with his wife, who is herself an award-winning writer.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ LibraryThing

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