Saturday, 5 November 2011

Review: My Big Birkett: The Sweet. Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan

The Story:
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 in love with 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 realised that at the right time and for the right reason, a birkett could be a beautiful thing. 

My Thoughts:
I picked up this book because of a review I read over on Jenny's blog. I'm so glad Jenny is an avid reader of Australian fiction because I wouldn't have known about this book otherwise. And let me tell you that would be a shame indeed. I finished reading it in one sitting, forsaking both blogging and writing because I was so engrossed in Gemma's over the top family and her friendship with Raven. 
        I've been goodreads stalking again and there are lots of comments about how Gemma's family is very unrealistic. While my family isn't like Gemma's at all, I have to say as an Aussie, I've met a few over the top families like Gemma's in my time. Hands down, Gemma's dad is the funniest guy ever. 

This is going to be a lists review because I'm super busy this weekend so here goes:

Things I Like:
- Characters: I have so many favourite characters in this book it'll take too long to mention. As a character driven reader, this book could do no wrong for me.
- Premise: There's actually a real slang word that Aussie's use to describe someone whose throwing a massive hissy fit and it's called going "berko." I love how the author has adapted that concept into this hilarious book.
- Setting: The description and backdrop to this book is very authentic.

Things I Didn't Like:
- The ending felt a little out of place from the lightness of the rest of the story. I don't want to give away any spoilers but I really wasn't expecting it at all.

The Rating:


  1. YAY I love books with humour so I'm instantly gravitating towards this one after reading your review. I'm actually looking for a fun and light read so this one sounds perfect. However the end sounds like a bit of bummer...

    Thanks for the phenominal review!!!!

    International EVE giveaway


  2. Wow that's a high score!

    Beth ^_^

  3. I'm glad you read it but, more importantly, I'm glad you liked it. I couldn't have you reading something I LOVED and walking away having lost all faith in me and my recommendations. ;) I liked the end because it was so out of place. I liked laughing one page crying on the next...sigh! I just wanted to know where the heck the kiss was.

    Also, if you knew my crazy family you'd see why I didn't even realize this family was "weird".

  4. Jaskirat: The ending is a bit of a turnaround in such a light book but it surprised me more than spoiled the book for me. I fully recommend you give this a try!

    Beth: It's a fantastic book and deserves a great review.

    Jenny: I'm in the middle of wedding preparations and weird doesn't even cut it as a description for my family anymore!! I still liked the ending, I just didn't see it coming and was so saddened by it. Now that I've had time to digest, it seems to be a very realistic portrayal of the circumstances. People do things like that all the time.

  5. What exactly is a birkett? I'm not too familiar with Australian lingo, and I'm assuming it's something Aussies say.

    Anyway, I love character driven stories, too. Over-the-top characters are what makes me love any kind of story. Without them, I probably won't like the story as much.

  6. I definitely need to read something light right now. This sounds like something I would love ^^

  7. Okay...first...for the Americans...what on earth is a birkett? I tried to google it and all I found were last names. So I'm sad and confused over here. I'm assuming that since going berko means having a hissy fit, then my big birkett means my big ummm catastrophe/hissy im not sure...

    I love hearing slang words for places other than here in America...makes me want to read the book just for that. are there any others that i'd b interested in???

  8. Cathy & Sherre: A birkett isn't an Aussie thing. It's a bit of a Stone family inside joke. Whenever someone is having a meltdown of epic proportions they say that person is having a birkett.

    Sherre: There are heaps of great Aussie books! Many of them you might enjoy. I've got a label at the top of my blog with the Aussie Author Challenge which lists all the books I've read and the reviews I gave them.

    Sabrina: This is seriously a great read. You should def try it!

  9. I read this one a while ago and loved it. Very, very funny. Well worth getting hold of through Fishpond if you're outside Australia.

  10. Interesting! I love books with unexpected endings...then I have to stop and look back at the rest of the book, and think about it.

  11. any books like this one? i read it and its GREAT. my fav. actually.
    problem is, i cant find any other book even similar to this one... so if you have any suggestions...anyone everyone... please tell me

    (this is when you click Reply ;] )

    1. Hey anonymous, I hate to disappoint you, but I personally haven't found a book similar to this one either. When and if I do, I'll read it and post a review :)

  12. i dont get the ending at all ok. i think im about to chuck a birkett


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