#BlogTour #BookReview Gap Years by Dave Holwill
My Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩
Available: 12th February 2018
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary / Humour / Family / Coming of Age
Thankyou to Rachel of #RachelsRandomResources and the #Author #DaveHolwill for my Copy of Gap Years, I loved it!
Potential Trigger Warnings: There’s a lot of swearing, a little violence, some very graphic sex scenes (one man on man), some nasty traffic accidents and a reference to historical date-rape. Oh, and the dog dies.
19 year old Sean hasn’t seen his father since he was twelve. His mother has never really told him why. An argument with her leads to him moving to the other side of the country to live with him.
The one thing they have in common is the friendship of a girl called Rhiannon.
Over the course of one summer Sean experiences sexual awakenings from all angles, discovers the fleeting nature of friendship and learns to cope with rejection.
Meanwhile, his father, Martin struggles to reconnect with Sean, while trying delicately to turn down the increasingly inappropriate advances of a girl he sees as a surrogate daughter and keep a struggling marriage alive.
Gap Years is an exploration of what it means to be a man in the 21st Century, trying to reject the social conditioning of the past and embrace a tolerant vision of the future from two very different perspectives – neatly hidden inside a funny story about unrequited love.
I really enjoyed reading this book, which I found to be a fun and clever story which takes an honest and enjoyable look at life at a Coming of Age point.
Sean goes through a whole mixture of emotions through a variety of situations, starting from a very surprising and engaging opening scene. This isn’t a story that starts slowly, rather it starts the reader off with a Crash!
The story certainly has the shock factor down with the opening, and I instantly liked Sean. He has so many emotions and thoughts racing through him, trying to deal with the changes in his situation and life in general.
His Dad isn’t entirely certain what to do to fix their relationship, to try and grow a bond that will pull them together. He’s clearly trying and at times failing to understand his son, and the resulting interactions between the two were wonderfully done. They have a feel of being honest scenarios with much confusion and frustration between the two Characters, who each are trying to be understood, whilst trying to understand.
The way they come across as awkward around one another is cleverly done, and makes sense when you consider that they haven’t seen each other for several years. And yet Martin very clearly cares very deeply for his son, and Sean for his Dad.
Sean goes through so many different changes, both sexual and personality wise. I loved seeing how he came to deal with the situations he was given, with changes to relationships and trying to discover who he is. The fact that Martin is also going through an awful lot at the same time, trying to rekindle his Marriage whilst being pursued by someone relentlessly, in what even without the marriage would be inappropriate since he thinks of her like a daughter, makes for huge amounts of frustration between the two, especially with the same Woman between them.
I have to say, I did NOT like Rhiannon, I really wanted to give her a kick at several points through this story, so I am left thinking that is exactly how we are meant to feel. She was manipulative and self serving, and at times a bitch. Yeh. I think that sums her up.
With any type of relationship where the people are trying to rebuild or even get to know each other initially, someone in the middle instantly makes for added tensions and disagreements!
I adored the writing style which easily created all of these situations with much realism, and brilliant humour. I have smiled and chuckled throughout the story, at both the writers wit and the scenarios that happened. There are several scenes here I want to share, for the talent shown in the way the scene was warm, light, very realistic and comical for it, but all I shall say is, Bar song.
Read it, you’ll see what I mean! Wonderfully sweet, and hilarious at the same time.
The alternating view points were perfect, giving the reader the opportunity to see each situation from both perspectives, it gave a fun and complete view of the various situations we are faced with!
I really enjoyed this Book, it was a great look at the variety of emotions and situations that can go alongside big changes at such a pivotal stage of life, and all the mixes of emotions that can be involved in families. If you enjoy Coming of Age novels, this is very well worth a read!
Author Bio –
Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents).
After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of.
Gap Years is his third novel – following on the heels of Weekend Rockstars and The Craft Room, and he is currently working on the fourth (a folk horror set in his native mid-Devon) and a sequel to Weekend Rockstars.
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