Books by Nick Earls

AFTER SUMMER by Nick Earls
Released: May 2, 2005

A few Australian weeks at the beach hold tension and tender richness as Alex waits to find out his university future. Summer is for ocean swimming and bodysurfing, but introspective Alex worries about whether he's gotten into college. His narrative voice is evocatively descriptive except when it's (suddenly) hilariously funny. He meets a girl who won't reveal her name but leaves a jar of honey in his mailbox; their days together are slow-cooked, for savoring, both to them and to readers. Her offbeat family takes him in and shows him bread baking and nude pottery, equal parts embarrassment and joy for him. His own mother is overly interested, making Alex's balance between boundaries and warmth elusive. He's not easygoing but he's slowly expanding his room for life. A wry and unhurried look at almost-adulthood, complete with issues of sex, sometimes comical (her blustery dad spins a clay penis on the pottery wheel) but never trivialized. Thoughtful; very funny; bittersweet with depth. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
48 SHADES OF BROWN by Nick Earls
Released: June 7, 2004

Dan's dry, wickedly funny first-person voice chronicles a month of his life as he moves in with his aunt in hometown Brisbane while his parents move to Geneva. Dan is 16, his aunt Jacq 22, and their third housemate—the winsome Naomi—a university student. Unlike his parents' reliably neat household, this place is casual: beer is offered freely, Naomi has audible sex with her boyfriend in the middle of the afternoon, and Dan's on his own for discipline. But Dan is no partier, just a wry, self-aware virgin pining for Naomi. He memorizes the 48 shades of brown that classify birds, but can't get them to come out of his mouth in suitable ways to attract her. A question about calculus (math) becomes an ongoing musing about Calculus (the Tintin professor) merely because Naomi misunderstands. Hip, sarcastic Jacq is kind underneath; Dan's self-deprecating but smart. Colorfully understated and satisfying—and hilarious. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >