Book Review by Jill Smith©Nov14
Title: My Unforgettable Year
Author: Adem Besim
Publisher: Morris Publishing Australia
This coming of age story is told from 17 year old Nathan Thompson’s viewpoint. He has grown up in the small Victorian town of Kyabram. He is the town football hero. He and his friends are going through their last year at school. They face pressures to succeed from parents and teachers, along with other pressures from piers.
The inherent aggression Nathan feels towards his father is the result of his fathers’ constant demands that he to train harder, to get noticed by the big league AFL football clubs, so he can forge a career there. That’s not what Nathan wants to do and his father seems to not listen to this. Coach Garry becomes his mentor in football and in life.
His best friend Matt is like a brother and his parents are his second family. They both play football, along with Jarryd who constantly antagonises Nathan. It is a small town and everyone knows everyone, so when the beautiful Katie arrives mid-year to finish her final year of school, gossip spreads through the town. Nathan falls in love, while his ex-girlfriend Sarah, not liking the situation, spreads some choice and untrue gossip.
I really enjoyed the fact that this book was written from a male perspective with all the testosterone and teenage anger clearly described. It was written in the first person, and although the publisher suggested it was a kind of diary, I enjoyed the narrative. Having recently read two female coming of age stories in ‘Crashing Down’ by Kate McCaffrey and ‘That’s Why I Wrote this Song’ by Susanne Gervay, it was great to get something from a totally different perspective.
This is Adems’ debut novel and I certainly look forward to more enjoyable reads from him.
For more about Adem go to the Morris Publishing site