by Fiona Wood
To be published in the US on August 11, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads: Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he's narrowed it down to just six impossible things...
My take: Sometimes I complain about young YA, and Poppy does seem to be an imprint that puts out a fair amount of it.
While I would call Six Impossible Things a YA book that does skew a bit young (it features a main character who's not yet fifteen) I found it enjoyable all the same. Dan's father has just come out and left the family, and he and his mother are forced to move to a decrepit old house that has been left to his mom by a relative. Dan's next-door neighbor is the fascinating Estelle, and when he discovers a connection between their attics, he's able to get a unique perspective on Estelle and her life. After all this upheaval, he makes a list of ... you guessed it: six impossible things he'd like to accomplish.
I must confess that I thought Wildlife, Wood's companion book to this one, was a stronger book with more emotional depth and more interesting narrative aspects. But Six Impossible Things was sweet and charming in its own understated way. It felt a little like an Australian John Green book - you know, awkward boy pines after unattainable girl and grows up a little in the process. Since Dan also has a depressed/dumped mother, I'd call it Paper Towns meets About a Boy.
If you're not a fan of contemporary YA this may seem a little too quiet for you. If you're a fan of the awkward male narrator and/or of Aussie fiction, give this one a go!