Monday, February 16, 2015

REVIEW: Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer,204,203,200_.jpg
Benny and Omar
by Eoin Colfer
Audiobook version
4 stars

2015 Reading Challenge Success! 
 A book from an author you love 
that you haven't read yet



By now, you probably know where Eoin Colfer stands on my list of favorite authors, inspiring authors, and epically cool authors. (Hint: He's at the top of all three.) I have adored his books for years. It's not uncommon for me to devote an entire reading month to him. I even met him once, and I've been known to celebrate the anniversary of that day (in a completely sane, non-creepy way, of course).

Suffice to say, I am an Eoin Colfer fan.

But I have a confession to make. There are some Eoin Colfer novels I've never read before.

I know. You didn't think there could possibly be any, did you?

After nearly a decade of hemming and hawing and somedaying this book, I finally made myself listen to Benny and Omar, Eoin Colfer's very first novel.

In hindsight, I don't know why it took me so long. I loved this book.

Benny and Omar had all the humor and trademarks of a Colfer story, with some good gut-punching emotion on top of it.

On the surface, it's the story of an Irish boy suddenly uprooted to Tunisia, of all places, forced to adjust to a new culture and country while trying to keep his same simple life from back home.

On a deeper level, this is a coming-of-age story, a boy just on the brink of realizing that the world doesn't revolve around him and that hurling isn't an integral part of existence.

Benny is a sarcastic but funny and likable character. He definitely has his flaws. He's self-absorbed and nothing is more important than his precious sport of hurling. He strikes up an unlikely friendship with a local named Omar, who speaks English only in show quotes and TV ads.

Watching Benny's journey from self-centered boy to more-considerate older brother is enjoyable and satisfying. Two thumbs up for good character development, and aside from that, the books is filled with madcap adventure and humor, from mischievous scrapes to Omar's 'TV English'. On the whole, the book is upbeat, though there are some bleak moments when Benny comes face to face with the Tunisia outside of his 'European' neighborhood.

If you're in need of a good book for a boy, Benny and Omar is a shoe-in. But hey, I'm a fan of giving a good book to any reader, so don't keep it away from the girls by any means.

In short, this had everything I'd expect from Eoin Colfer.

As for the audio version, I could listen to that Irish accent all day. ^_^

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