One Seriously Messed Up Weekend In the Otherwise Un-Messed-Up Life of Jack Samsonite (Jack Samsonite #2)
Genre: bildungsroman Age: 14+
Two years have passed since One Seriously Messed Up Week and Jack is now in Year 13…and he still hasn’t lost his kissing-virginity. This time though, he’s a man with a plan…
As you would expect, One Seriously Messed Up Weekend follows in the vein of the original, bringing together a frankly bonkers plot which finds Jack and his friends, at varying points, on the school roof, hanging out of bedrooms and being chased by villainous eleven year olds. Jack’s utter incompetence at anything, including girls and school, is the core of the novel and provides the most laughs (and cringes, too – how could anyone be so stupid?!)
Clempson manages to capture life as a teenage boy pretty accurately, which just goes to show that school hasn’t really changed much from the melee of year seven critters and pure, unshackled hormones. The boyish sense of humour and insecurity – Clempson should win an award for the amount of times he manages to use the word ‘nob’ – is also surprisingly true to life, though perhaps not for a seventeen year old: it may be awfully immature, but it’s also awfully funny and certainly had me sniggering every time I opened up the novel.
I’m not sure how relatable One Seriously Messed Up Weekend will be for girls, but for any pubescent boy (or anyone who’s been through that stage!), this novel is a treat. The mix of absurd situations and laugh-out-loud comedy will entertain even the most hesitant of male readers and goes to show that, even though you think your life is messed up, it is nothing in comparison with that of Jack (and presumably, Clempson’s youth!).