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Jasper has his hands full. Finishing high school would be hard enough without a mother pushing him to overachieve, and his friends pushing drugs down his throat. And then there’s his stepdad: moustache-wearing, patronising, and, as all the evidence suggests, a murderer.
Hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, Ben Brooks’ Grow Up is packed full of funny, smart, entertaining swagger. A comedy in three parts it also offers a revelatory portrait of the pills, thrills and bellyaches of growing up today.
‘Who is it?’
‘Uh. Hi, Abby.’
‘My period is late by two weeks, Jasper.’
‘THEN FUCKING HURRY IT UP.’
Tears (not mine).
‘I think I’m pregnant Jasper.’
‘I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.’
I hang up. I am insensitive and cruel. I am scared.
‘Grow Up is absolutely knockout — Brooks is blessed with a blinding grasp of terse, lyrical prose, and has the timing of a genius stand-up comic. Top class.’
‘It’s a little coming-of-age and a little slice-of-life rolled up into one very funny book that is touching and heartfelt when you least expect it.’
‘Alarmingly good. Jasper is great fun, naively perceptive, often LOL-funny company. A totally convincing portrait of being a wayward teenager now … It’s so pertinent it actually kind of trips you out.’
‘Brilliantly captures 21st-century youth. Hilarious … At the heart of Grow Up, though, is something more satisfying than steady gags. In a world where youth is fetishised as much as it is, Brooks revels in what everyone secretly knows—namely, that teenagers are all, in some way or another, idiots.’
‘A sharp and witty exploration of adolescent life … delightfully comic. The subject matter edges into dangerous territory—date rape, teenage pregnancy, suicide—but Brooks handles it with maturity and wit. Grow Up is one part serious, the rest is simply laugh-out loud funny. Contagiously funny, well-written and no doubt marks the start of a promising career for a talented young writer.’
‘Ben Brooks is a magical imp who pumps out dark nuggets of poetry and makes you snort with laughter.’
‘Sickeningly good. So confident, so stylish. An unacceptably witty and original debut.’
‘Engaging, funny and sharply-written. I loved how this book manages to be both brutally uncompromising and gloriously warm-hearted.’