Book: Notes from the Blender
Author: Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin
Published: May 2011
My Rating: 4/5
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 just finished reading Notes from the Blender and I’m grinning so hard my cheeks hurt and I’m actually tearing up too. Damn, it was good.
In Notes from the Blender we follow Declan and Neilly.
Declan is a teenage boy obsessed with metal music, he wears black all the time, he plays way too many video games and is a little bit of a pervert. In a completely hilarious way. He doesn’t have many friends, and that probably has more to do with his choices than with him being socially awkward, because I never felt he was. Other than making sex jokes all the time. Okay, so maybe, just maybe he was. A little.
Neilly is in the popular crowd. She has a popular boyfriend, a best friend, goes to lots of parties. She’s beautiful and you know, the usual. She is a little self-centered too, but we forgive her.
So how do this two completely different people get mixed up together? Easy, get his dad to knock her mom up and you’re set.
Yes. So now Dec’s dad is marring Neilly’s mom. And they are having a little “devil spawn.” Their lives ger turned upside down. New house, new family, new people, new everything. Which means they are moving in together. And above it all Neilly just lost her best friend and her boyfriend all in the same day. And Dec can’t stop having not-so-sisterly-thoughts about Neilly, or feeling like his father is trying to replace his mother (who died in a car accident when he was nine) and/or him.
Notes from the Blender was hilarious. I don’t come across many books that make me laugh out loud like this, actually I think only one book made me actually laugh-laugh, if you know what I mean? And this one did too, not to that extent, but I found myself grinning most of the time. Dec is incredibly hilarious with his inappropriate comments and all.
“A bond that he will always treasure. I was being raised by a human greeting card.”
But, surprising enough, it actually made me cry too. I know, what a mess! But I couldn’t help but feel for Dec so much! He was used to being just him and his dad and then all of a sudden he’s having a stepmother, and two step-sisters (with one yet to be born)? It was understandable he would miss his mother, and I hurt for him.
Notes from the Blender is told from both Dec and Neilly’s point of view, so you get to understand and feel for these two characters, and see how they grow and learn to accept each other and what life was throwing at them. I don’t know if I should classify this as a light read, given it made me cry, but it’s more on the humor side, I assure you. Dec just got to me a little more than it should have, probably.
“I had a terrible epiphany at that moment. I had thought that I didn’t understand girls because I never got near them, but here I was, sitting in Neilly Foster’s kitchen eating ice cream with her, and I had no fucking idea what made her mind work. So it wasn’t proximity that was the problem. It was that they were fundamentally unknowable.”