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The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It

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IN MY FAMILY, when anyone rides the wave of their emotions, we say they're chucking a birkett. When the emotion drives out all common sense, we say they're chucking a big one. The telltale signs are: flaming cheeks, shortness of breath, bulging eyes, and a prolonged illogical outburst.

Gemma Stone is convinced that it's always unseemly to chuck a birkett and that it's actually insane to chuck one in front of a complete stranger. But that was before she fell for a boy who barely knows she exists, before she auditioned for the school play, before she met the family of freaks her sister Debbie is marrying into, before the unpredictable Raven De Head took an interest in her, and before she realized that at the right time and for the right reason, a birkett could be a beautiful thing.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 13, 2007 – Australian picture-book author and middle-grade novelist Shanahan's first book for teens is an uproariously funny, surprisingly intense read; a savvy blend of sharp wit and weight grounds its otherwise over-the-top humor. As 14-year-old Gemma Stone explains, In our family, when anyone starts riding the big wave of their emotions, we say they're chucking a birkett, Birkett being the name of her older sister Debbie's last disastrous boyfriend. Most of the birketts are thrown by Dad and Debbie, Gemma's soon-to-be-married older sister. But now that Gemma's getting older and trying to figure out who she is and what she wants, her propensity for blowing an emotional circuit have increased exponentially especially in matters of love. When she's cast as Miranda in her school's production of The Tempest, along with handsome, popular Nick Lloyd as Prospero, Gemma can hardly contain her excitement, even when troublemaker Raven De Head is cast as Caliban. Shanahan goes to town with no-holds-barred caricatures. Debbie's fianc proposes on his knee in the spice department of the supermarket ( Will you spice up my life and be my wife? ), the opening salvo in the author's sendup of brides (and grooms) who ought to be blushing. The heavier side of the story, in which Gemma realizes just how wrong her impressions of Nick and Raven are, comes close to predictability, but thoughtful characterizations of the De Heads (and gleeful views of the Lloyds) save it. An unexpectedly painful showdown ends the novel with Gemma achieving emotional clarity. Ages 12-up.

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The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Coming of Age
  • Published: Aug 28, 2007
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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