The Summer of Kicks by Dave Hackett – funny and a little bit crazy

the summer of kicksTitle: The Summer of Kicks

Author: Dave Hackett

Genre: YA contemporary

Length: 264 pages

Published by: UQP

Published on: August 27th, 2014

Source: Received in exchange for review (thanks, UQP!)


Starrphyre is your average sensitive-meets-dorky 16-year-old, with a tragic hippy name thanks to his parents – a live-to-air radio sex therapist mum and a bass player dad from a one-hit-wonder 80s metal band.

All Starrphyre wants is one date with his dream girl, Candace McAllister. Or at least a meaningful conversation. But how can he get her to notice him when she’s the leading lady of every other high-school guys’ fantasies?

For Starrphyre, starting a band seems like the natural solution, but when your bandmates have the combined musical ability of a gang of armless monkeys, you really need a backup plan.

My memory of Dave Hackett’s writing is laughing. A lot.

See this cool book?


This is also by Dave Hackett. And it is very funny. I think I might have judged this one a bit harsher than UFO, because, well, I read a lot of books and they’re not all going to be the same level of amazingness. (you can tell you’re in the hands of a serious book blogger when they use words like amazingness)

But seriously. This book will make you laugh. It made me laugh, that’s for sure, for several reasons:

Starrphyre. Just the name Starrphyre.

I mean seriously, that is an awful name to be stuck with (no offence to any Starrphyres present…). Any time he mentioned the name I pretty much snorted.


Hilarious guy-ish friends.

It’s nice to read a YA book from a male POV every now and again, because you get to witness awesome guy friendships. Starrphyre’s friends are pretty dorky and teenager-y, but they have some great banter that’s really funny. They were all pretty goofy.

I do wish I could have gotten to know each of them individually, though. I can barely remember their names.



Starrphyre’s mum is a radio sex therapist. Nuff said.


Band Names

So out of a completely random happenstance, Starrphyre wants to start a band. And they need a name for the band. The highlight of this book, for me, was reading all their suggestions for band names. Some of them were ridiculous. Some of them, though, were actually really cool.

If you’re a rock music kind of person and like humour, this is the book for you.

Starrphyre is really into rock music, and there are a bunch of references to bands and artists, that kind of thing. It went completely over my head, because let’s face it, I’m a Disney music/musical theatre/a capella music listener. I listen to weird stuff. But I did think it was nice how Starrphyre and his Dad would text each other music challenges, since that was a bond they both shared.

I do love the movie School of Rock, though, because…Jack Black.

To be perfectly honest, this book went a little downhill for me. There was a plot point at the end that I probably should have cared more about, because it should have been sad, but I didn’t really care at all because it seemed to come out of nowhere, and the characters didn’t react enough for my liking. It felt like we didn’t get to know some of the characters all that well.

Oh, plus, Starrphyre made me SO ANGRY a couple of times. Even from the beginning, I didn’t get the appeal of Candace McAllister. Although maybe others could sympathise with him. I don’t know.

There was a romance plot with some drama thrown in, and a subplot with Starrphyre’s sister’s AWFUL boyfriend (seriously, he’s such a…I’m not going to use swear words but yeah, I kind of wanted to stab him in the eyes with a fork).


In the end, this is a quick read, and one you should definitely pick up if you like a) rock music, b) books from a goofy male POV, c) funny-ness, d) a summery romance or e) all of the above.

For me personally, though I loved it in some parts, it was an okay-ish read overall.


Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties



11 thoughts on “The Summer of Kicks by Dave Hackett – funny and a little bit crazy

  1. This sounds like something different than what I might usually pick up, so I’m definitely going to check it out – I love a book with a good laugh 🙂 Great review Em!

  2. I absolutely loved this one. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard, and so much! When they’re choosing their band names with the bingo barrel, just priceless. Even the musical had me snorting with laughter. I absolutely adore this book. Thanks so much for sharing Em and glad you enjoyed it ❤

  3. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves – the wonderful Alice in Wonderland | The Loony Teen Writer

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