Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jack Tumor by Anthony McGowan

You can't exactly say that fourteen-year-old Hector Brunty has lost his mind. It's more like he's gained an extra one... a talking brain tumour... named Jack. Anthony McGowan's Jack Tumor is hysterically funny.

The opening scene takes place in the waiting room of a medical clinic, where Hector "wasn't really reading, more just turning over the pages with the letters floating around like astronauts in zero gravity." Headaches and blurred vision are his reasons for seeing a doctor, but Hector is preoccupied with bigger problems: "My mum was a hippie, my dad was nowhere, my school was a dung heap; I was bullied by Neanderthals and ignored by the girls, and my friends were the Wretched of the Earth."

And now a brain tumour is yelling inside Hector's head. Jack's first word is "ARSECHEESE."

Jack is determined to make Hector's life more exciting. The two of them might not be around for much longer, so Jack urges Hector to ditch the dorky clothes, get a new haircut, and make some moves on a hot girl at school. He's a plucky little tumour, but Hector takes a lot of convincing. When Jack thinks it's time to "GO A-COURTING," Hector replies:

"No way. You are simply out of your mind, and I wish you were out of mine. I can't believe you want me to go and chat her up. I won't. I can't. I don't know how."

Jack tells Hector to let him take care of everything. After all, as he says, "REPRODUCTION IS MY MIDDLE NAME."

Jack Tumor (under the title Henry Tumour) won the Booktrust Teenage Prize in the UK in 2006. It's cancer at its funniest.

Readalikes: The Fault in Our Stars (John Green); Going Bovine (Libba Bray); Doing It (Melvin Burgess); and Ostrich Boys (Keith Gray).

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