2014 EVENTS:
Holly Bourne, Non Pratt and James Dawson - 30th October
Becca Fitzpatrick - 15th November

Friday, 30 May 2014

GUEST REVIEW: Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Friday, 30 May 2014
PAGES: 320
PUBLISHER: Chicken House
FORMAT: Paperback
BUY IT: Waterstones
RATING: 5 Stars

This review refers to an uncorrected advance proof edition.

Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find 'The One'. Their lobster. But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.

So I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivision which is due to be released on June 5th. Here is my review!

So for the first few pages I was very worried about this book. How could I relate to a girl whose to-do list included “Fall in love and lose virginity” “Get good at fake tanning” and “Practice having slow mannerisms to appear more enigmatic”? My to-do list would probably look more like “Try not to buy any more books unnecessarily” or “Revise for my end of year exams”. I prayed “Please tell me these characters will find something other than their sexual desires to discuss!”

And then BAM

Sam and Hannah meet


In a sudden chance encounter in a bathroom, Hannah and Sam meet and they both realise that they have found their ‘Lobster’! Their romantic journey begins. But of course there are a good 270 pages to go. So I sat back and prepared for the emotional roller-coaster I would soon embark on as “Toilet Boy” and “Ribena Girl” search for each other.

This book definitely taught me not to judge books by the first chapter (something I am sometimes guilty of) as it definitely proved me wrong!

One really fascinating thing about this book is the way Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison compare emotional romance to physical romance. Sam and Hannah both begin on a quest to lose their virginity so they can be like everyone else and not be left out, however Lobsters shows that they don’t need physical intimacy to be happy and in fact just talking to each other can be a lot more enjoyable and valuable, which reminded me of Looking for Alaska by John Green. They immediately click during their first encounter and engage in a funny conversation and are obviously meant to be, bonding over hot Ribena and high-tens. This contrasts to the physical romance in the book as these situations are awkward and unpleasant.

Despite originally struggling to connect with each character, over the course of the book as I learnt more about them, they became increasingly relatable. The tagline for this book is “a socially awkward love story” which relates to Hannah and Sam pretty well as the book follows a lot of their social struggles. For example Hannah struggles with always being second best to her seemingly perfect friend Stella (which many girls have surely experienced in there lives, I know I have!)

One character I particularly loved was Robin, friend of Sam, Harry Potter lover and (fellow) Romione shipper. When advising Sam to persevere in his love life he said:
“Look at Ron and Hermione. Obstacles everywhere. But did Hermione give up on Ron when he was dating Lavender Brown? Did Ron give up on Hermione when he was knocking about with that Bulgarian Quidditch bloke? Did they let the pressure of tracking down the final few Horcruxes tear them apart? No. All the drama they went through made it all the more poignant when they finally got together.”
He quickly added
“At least…I think that’s what happened. That’s what my sister said, anyway. I don’t know.”
Just in case I haven’t persuaded you to buy a copy yet, I’ll mention that the cover is beautiful and there are little pictures of lobsters at the start of each new chapter! How cute!

The one thing I didn’t like about this book was that Ham (Hannah and Sam) didn’t get together sooner because they are such a perfect couple!!! In true chick-lit fashion, Sam and Hannah are constantly brought together (is it fate?) and have to overcome obstacles (such as Freddie and Erin) to try and reach each other.

I would definitely give this book 5 stars! I often struggle with contemporary novels but Lobsters was easy to read and really enjoyable. I’d recommend it to fans of romance novels and to a mature YA audience (due to slightly sexual content.)

- Priya.

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