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48 SHADES OF BROWN by Nick Earls


by Nick Earls

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 7th, 2004
ISBN: 0-618-45295-8
Publisher: Graphia

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)