TITLE: DENTED CANS
SYNOPSIS: A family secret is revealed during an ill-fated—yet hilarious—trip to Disney World.
Sixteen-year-old Hannah Sampson knows her family is not what you would call normal. Her father compulsively buys dented cans and has a particular fondness for cans without labels, which are extremely discounted because their contents are a mystery. Her mother takes countless pictures of her family and then glues them down into the pages of her scrapbooks, but does not allow anyone to look at them. Ryan, Hannah’s mischievous fourteen-year-old brother, is headed straight for the remedial track at the local community college, if he’s lucky. Ben, her eight-year-old brother, is a walking sound effects machine, who prefers to communicate with noises rather than words. While Hannah is focused on escaping her working-class Connecticut suburb, she also finds herself being tugged back home as she worries about her brother Ben.
Hannah’s parents inflict one last family vacation on the Sampson children, a trip that goes comically wrong almost from the get-go. Hannah is forced to confront her family’s past in Disney World, of all places, when an emotional argument prompts her parents to disclose a secret they have been keeping from the children for sixteen years. Ultimately, she must decide whether to leave her hometown and not look back, or to focus on helping her family.
I thought Heather Walsh did a fantastic job in writing this book. I really enjoyed reading it and found it difficult to stop. Her characters were pretty well developed and interesting to read about. The pacing was nice, it wasn’t too slow, or too fast, and the plot was centered more around the family, and the way they are different from everyone else.
I really enjoyed reading about all the characters in DENTED CANS. Especially, Hannah. I could really relate to Hannah and how she felt. She’s 16, and thinking about college and getting out of her small town, tired of being tied down by her parents and weird brothers. Her parents aren’t exactly normal. Her dad collects dented cans and her mom has a scrap-booking privacy problem. They are always bothering her about the way she treats her brothers and they usually make her do things to help them. Like the trip to Disney for example. Hannah doesn’t really want to go, neither does Ryan. But her parents insist on going for Ben’s sake. And then at Disney, she can’t go the all the rides she wants to because her parents put her in charge of taking Ben on the rides he wants to go on. It reminded me about my family, a bit. My parents are always doing things in his favor. And they usually guilt trap me into doing it too. I also loved Hannah’s sarcasm. It was witty and often got interesting reactions. Besides Hannah, the rest of her family also provided some type of comic relief.
The whole novel is basically about Hannah coming of age. About her understanding what makes being an adult different from being a teen. That adults carry and lot more responsibilities and understanding about the world. That adults often see the bigger picture compared to the teens who usually are focused on one thing. In DENTED CANS you can kind of see her transition mentally from thinking like a teen to an adult. She goes from rebellious about the family trip to understanding why it was important.
RATING: REALLY ICY
NOTE: I received this for free from the author. This in no way effected my review.