Boys Don't Knit
by T.S. Eaton
Read: October 19 - 21, 2014
Published: March 24, 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Arc from Macmillan (THANK YOU!)
Tags: Contemporary, YA, British humor, knitting boys
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Knitting is a man’s game.
After an incident regarding a crossing guard and a bottle of Martini & Rossi (and his bonehead friends), 17-year-old worrier Ben Fletcher must develop his sense of social alignment, take up a hobby, and do some community service to avoid any further probation.
He takes a knitting class (it was that or his father’s mechanic class) under the impression that it's taught by the hot teacher all the boys like. Turns out, it’s not. Perfect.
Regardless, he sticks with it and comes to find that he’s a natural knitter, maybe even great. It even helps ease his anxiety and worrying. The only challenge now is to keep it hidden from his friends, his crush, and his soccer-obsessed father. What a tangled web Ben has weaved . . . or knitted.
Boys Don't Knit was a complete delight! I loved being inside Ben's head. Ben doesn't always understand his messy family - or feel like he fits. He's not sure how he feels about his friends (they keep getting him into trouble), and he doesn't know how to talk to girls he likes. When Ben gets put on probation for a situation that involved poor judgement, liquor stealing, and hitting a crossing guard with a bicycle, all largely the fault of his idiotic friends, Ben ends up taking a knitting class. Of course, Ben doesn't want anyone to know about it even though he's a natural, and that leads to much hilarity and inner turmoil.
Ben's a little awkward, quite clueless at times (though he can also be very perceptive), and he doesn't feel like he fits with his friends or at home. Ben doesn't like sports or cars or the other manly things his dad prefers, or his friends wild schemes, which always end in disaster. Ben likes organizing things and school and no drama. But it is through the seemingly unmanly activity of knitting that Ben realizes he might not be the loser he always thought he was. He has friends and support and maybe a girl who likes him too. Plus he finds he's also pretty good at helping others.
Ben's inner voice was completely endearing, and I enjoyed seeing him gain confidence and begin to see his own worth. The story is told by Ben in a very conversational style, organized by date, instead of chapter (sort of like a diary. But don't worry: it's not epistolary, and the storytelling method works very well, adding to the overall experience). Reading Boy's Don't Knit was like cuddling up in a warm sweater while watching a British comedy. They perfect mix of hilarious and heartfelt.
This book doesn't come out in the US until next March, but I found it to be incredibly entertaining. Definitely add it to your list!
Love Triangle Factor: None/Mild. Romance is not the focus of this book, and Ben is pretty clueless about the whole thing, so so there's some resulting drama, but it's always going in the same direction.
Cliffhanger Scale: Low - This book has a sequel An English Boy in New York.