1. Dan, the main character, is adorkable: He's motivated, he's sarcastic/funny, he's actually pretty mature for his age, and he's soooo in love with Estelle. And we're talking the totally cute-sweet sort of puppy love that can only happen with a first crush. Also he admits to owning a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beanbag chair. How retro-cool is that?!? (wish I had a TMNT beanbag chair)
2. Howard the Dog. I'll admit it. The fact that there's an animal friend named Howard in this book hooked me. And I thought I was the only one with an animal friend by that name. True, my Howard is a cat and the one in the book is a dog, but the name is pretty unique for a pet. Plus, Howard the Dog is awesome! Wise, loyal, and awesome!
3. It's hilarious in the completely awkward, real way all well-written coming-of-age stories are. No spoilers, though. You'll have to stumble upon the humor yourself,
4. The romance! I can't make this list without mentioning the romance! It's not the hot & heavy stuff. There are no grand, sweeping gestures. This is the sweet, cute, innocent first-love romance that will totally give the warm fuzzy feels.
5. The side characters are well done, from the bullies to the parents to the friends. This makes the story feel more real.
6. The whole package! Six Impossible Things is an excellent book.
Dan's life has been going great up until this point: His well-off parents were able to provide a comfortable life, he was attending a prestigious private school, he was well-traveled, and he wanted for nothing (see: TMNT beanbag chair). He was happy. Or at least content. As much so as a 14 year old nerdish boy can be.
That was before. Before Dan's dad announced they were bankrupt, came out as gay, and ditched Dan and his mom to pursue other things.
Now Dan and his mom only have the clothes on their backs, a few boxes worth of possessions (stuff hidden from the Reop team), and an inherited house that smells like, well...like pee. No nice way of saying it.
Although Dan is at rock bottom, he's ambitious. He creates a list of six impossible goals. Among them being cheering his mom, getting a job to help with finances, and figuring out his place in the world. But the main goal, the one that tops his list, is to kiss Estelle, the cute girl next door.
Admirable goals, all of them. Except that Dan hasn't even worked up the nerve to talk to Estelle, let along get into a kissing sort of situation.
What follows is Dan's stumbling, awkward, and inspiring journey to achieve all six of his goals. And he discovers he's capable of a lot more than he ever dreamed.
So DOES Dan kiss Estelle?
You'll just have to read Six Impossible Things to find out. --AJB