It’s the mid-90s. Jim, a naïve, film-obsessed student who’s suicidally in love with Elly, goes with her to Chicago where they plan to spend the summer making thousands of dollars selling ice-cream to cute kids in the shadow of the Sears Tower, and where he’ll win her over. He finds the Land of the Free is anything but, and time and again through sweltering days, bitterly cold realities trammel his dreams. But through adversity Jim grows, and grows to love himself again, while tempering his infatuation for Elly. But will a man break out of the boy, win the girl, and escape with a bound?
My Review – 5 stars
A humorous read, full of emotional highs and lows
This is a very funny read that also tugs at the heartstrings as the reader witnesses the emotional high and lows of Jim, the main character, and his attempts to win over his fellow student Elly. The story takes place in the oppressive heat of the summer as they along with others spend their vacation selling ice cream in the US and contemplating life, love and the universe.
I enjoyed how the book delved into the boundaries separating friendship and love, and how the characters of Jim and Elly progressed throughout the read. I was also entertained by the self-depreciating internal dialogue of Jim in his quest to secure Elly’s affections, often cringing at his painful emotional journey to realise his self-worth. I found myself empathising with the situation – Elly is quite a girl and their relationship is one which many of us have either witnessed or been part of.
The supporting cast of characters is varied and colourful and make for a riotous read with the many escapades they get into individually and collectively. Indeed, the book, peppered with insightful clutural references, fully encapsulates the spirt of youth and the heady decade of the 1990s.
Recommended if you are looking for a humorous and perceptive read.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note, a copy of the book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.