Friday, May 08, 2015

Review: Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. EastonBoys Don't Knit by T.S. Easton
Published by Feiwel & Friends on March 24th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

Knitting is a man’s game.

After an incident regarding a crossing guard and a bottle of Martini & Rossi (and his bonehead friends), 17-year-old worrier Ben Fletcher must develop his sense of social alignment, take up a hobby, and do some community service to avoid any further probation.

He takes a knitting class (it was that or his father’s mechanic class) under the impression that it's taught by the hot teacher all the boys like. Turns out, it’s not. Perfect.

Regardless, he sticks with it and comes to find that he’s a natural knitter, maybe even great. It even helps ease his anxiety and worrying. The only challenge now is to keep it hidden from his friends, his crush, and his soccer-obsessed father. What a tangled web Ben has weaved . . . or knitted.

You know when you read a book and it’s pleasant and you enjoy it, but have no feeling towards either way? This is one of those. It was a good read, but it didn’t really do much for me. It didn’t bring out my emotions, and I didn’t really feel connected to the character or the story, but it was still enjoyable to read. I have to say though, it did make me want to try my hand at knitting again, but I know it’s a lost cause. Anyways, I did enjoy Ben’s obsession with knitting, and what led him to it in the first place. It was an interesting story for sure, but a little too neat and tidy for me for the most part.

Ben is a good kid. For the most part. He has some troublesome friends that tend to get him into trouble, and that is how he ends up on probation for a year. Of course with probation comes all sorts of rules and things he must do to not violate it. One of the things happens to be taking a class at the college. The reason he chooses knitting is actually because one of his teachers that he thinks is hot is teaching it, but it turns out that it was an error. Either way, he is a natural and finds himself actually enjoying it. The only thing is, he wants to keep it secret. What will people think about him knitting? Especially his dad and his friends. We don’t get to know Ben very much. At least I didn’t feel like we did. I know that he is a good kid who isn’t out to make trouble, his family is a bit weird, and he has found something he enjoys doing that pretty much consumes him. He does learn to let go a bit, but I didn’t feel like we really knew him.

I liked the idea that Ben was good at knitting and that this book pushed the point that it’s not a girl thing. Kind of. Of course he is the only boy knitter, but it goes through the whole thing of not being ashamed and all that. I mean yes, he is trying to hide it, but he does have a lot of support, and when it comes out that he is a knitter for the most part things are fine. Of course there had to be a bit of drama with some mean kids who want to pick fun at him, but in the end he ends up happy and good. It was like everything all worked out and his circumstances with the probation, and slight embarrassment over the knitting was just a speck in the past. He gets his happy ending and everything is all good. I’ve realized that a book like this is hard to review since I am in the middle with my rating, but I do think that it is an enjoyable read, but nothing that I will remember months down the road.


3 Hot Espressos

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I'm no good at this, but I'm a mom of one little girl who really thinks she is a princess. I love reading all sorts of books (horror being a favorite genre of mine), love meeting new people, drinking lots of coffee, and eating chocolate. If you want to know anything else about me, just ask.
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13 Responses to “Review: Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton”

    • Amy

      Ben was a fun character, but this book just lacked for me in some way. I do love that they were trying to make a point that it’s not okay to put people in a gender box by the activities and things they like. And I loved that it did show his struggle with it, but him not wanting to give it up. And man, how mortifying his parents ummm sexual talk was. Poor kid.

    • Amy

      It was cute, and I think important in that it covers the idea of breaking gender roles. Unfortunately that is still a big issue.

  1. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I’ve not heard of this one before but it does seem like a fun read! I’ll definitely know where to look if I want a fun book – though it’s a shame that you don’t find it all that memorable.

    • Amy

      I really did want to love it. I loved the idea of it. I hate that people are stuck in gender roles and this book has a great way of exploring the issue. Maybe a bit too tidy and fluffy, but most people like a nice happy ending.

    • Amy

      It was a pretty quick read and it was an enjoyable book. I think I was looking for more depth in it and that is why it fell in the middle ground area for me, but I still did like it.

  2. Lyn Kaye

    What an awesomely pro-gender novel! I always hate to see boys shoved into the “masculine box” when they are young. On Reddit, there is a horrible story where a cashier shares his story about a little boy who wanted to buy a sketch pad, and the father yelling at his son that he wasn’t going to buy a “gay book” for him. The cashier bought it for the boy, and at the end of the shift, he found that very pad, torn up, in the parking lot.

    I rage when I see just sexist views pushed onto children. I hate the idea that there are feminine and masculine activities. Even though the ending was marshmallow and fluffy, I really want to see more books tackling the issue of boys wanting to engage in hobbies that were once set aside for women.

    • Amy

      OMG that is horrible!! It’s sad that a lot of the sexism comes from parents as it does in this book. I hate sexism as well. I let my daughter play with what she wants, and dress how she wants. (within reason, it needs to be age appropriate) I don’t just buy her things geared toward girls. In fact she loves cars and trucks, and watching the “boy shows” on TV.

      I understand why the ending was tidy and happy. It shows that in the end Ben gets his happy ending that includes his love for knitting and other things in his life. I did enjoy this book, but it was just meh for me. The idea of it was what I really loved and I am still really glad that I decided to review it to get more attention on it to other who might not have heard of it.

  3. Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales

    This book sounds cute!It’s not my kind of book,but I’d love to give it a shot because I always like to read stories with concepts that defy gender stereotypes.I myself-as a girl-am horrible at knitting!I study in a catholic girls school,and despite the amount of times I’ve been taught to knit and scolded for failing,I just can’t master the art:)I guess I don’t have the patience for it.
    Great review Amy!

  4. Shannelle

    I was only interested in this one because the cover seemed like it was made by Risa Rodil, and turns out it was made by her! So that was cool, and I love that it’s breaking gender stereotypes. It just goes too far sometimes, and although it looks awesome, I’m sad that it underwhelmed you.