Expected Publication: March 24th, 2015 (Originally January 1st, 2014)
Boys Don't Knit (Boys Don't Knit #1)
By: T.S. Easton
Feiwel & Friends
Knitting is a man's game.
After an incident regarding a crossing guard and a bottle of Martini & Rossi (and his bonehead friends), 17-year-old worrier Ben Fletchermust develop his sense of social alignment, take up a hobby, and do some community service to avoid any further probation.
He takes a knitting class (it was that or his father's mechanic class) under the impression that it's taught by the hot teacher all the boys like. Turns out, it's not. Perfect.
Regardless, he sticks with it and comes to find he's a natural knitter, maybe even great. It even helps ease his anxiety and worrying. The only challenge now is to keep it hidden from his friends, his crush, and his soccer-obsessed father. What a tangled web Ben has weaved...or knitted.
Let's just lay it all out on the line: I know absolutely NOTHING about knitting! I have a couple friends who know how, and I've always thought it would be cool to learn, but I know nothing about it. Also, I don't read a lot of YA books with male protagonists. Mainly because I feel like a lot of the ones I've picked up have protags that are either complete assholes or so unrealistic that they might as well be the next Disney Prince! Yes, nice guys exist and so do awful ones. Most REAL guys (adult, teenage and child) are some combination of the two though, rather than one extreme or another. T.S. Easton really captures that fact with Ben Fletcher. Not perfect by any means, 17 year old Ben allows himself to get into sticky situations by going along with his harebrained friends. After an incident with some stolen liquor, a lollipop lady and a damaged vehicle, Ben is on probation. He has to keep a diary to hand in to his caseworker and complete community service to show his reform. Part of this is a college class. Not wanting to be in his dad's mechanic class, Microsoft Office (too easy/boring), or pottery, he goes with knitting (the teacher is supposed to be a hot, younger woman). Turns out the teachers listed were wrong and it's his crush's Mom and now Ben's stuck. But guess what, he's a natural knitter - and he really enjoys it!
Basically, this book is set over the course of eight months and told through Ben's diary entries. We get to meet his soccer/car obsessed Dad, his often on tour magician Mom and his crazy little sister Molly. Also in supporting roles are his very memorable friends (one of whom he's editing an erotic book called "Fifty Shades of Graham" for!) who get him into plenty of trouble, Mrs. Frensham i.e. the lollipop lady he practically ran over, Megan (the girl he likes), the hot teacher Miss Swallow, and the women from his knitting class. Everyone is well characterized, and we see Ben grow from someone unsure of himself and more of a follower, to a young man who has found something he loves to do and refuses to apologize for it. Along the way he makes friends with some unlikely people and we get to see his big heart and hilarious turn of phrase. I laughed out loud mutliple times while reading this, especially at Ben's mounting lies and the box of "shame" he hides under the bed with his knitting stuff. The knitting competition at the end is the stuff comedies should be made of! All in all, I super enjoyed it. I am beyond the high school angst and Facebook obsessing over a crush, so I did roll my eyes a little. But I highly recommend this book, because it's so much more than that. Can't wait to read the next one!
VERDICT: 4/5 Stars
**I reviewed this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is March 24th, 2015.**