The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet

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The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet

Last Free Dates: 18th Feb 16 to 20th Feb 16
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...Family chaos? Oh yes. A good book for teenagers? Again yes, although it would probably appeal to YA readers of any age, as the older ones can look back and laugh....

Monica’s aunt is getting married, her Grandmother may be going into a home, and she’s being sent from the US to the UK ahead of her mother to scout things out. The problem is she’s fourteen, escorting her older sister and younger brother, and hasn’t seen Granny in five years. Her brother is a holy terror, her sister has discovered boys and makeup, Granny doesn’t want to go into a home, and there’s a wedding coming up. Events go as smoothly as you’d think…

This is a funny story, with the kind of humour that comes from the ridiculous situations that families, and three unescorted teenagers overseas for the first time, can get into. Yes, events can make it quite logical to have to wash her face in the toilet – even as she is wondering what on earth she’s doing. With a bribe like summer science camp to look forward to, she’d do worse – and might have to.

Written in first person, one of the nice things about this book is that while Monica starts off as the sane one of the family, you quickly discover that she has her own quirks. The rest of the family aren’t above pointing these out (or the occassional eye roll), but then she’s at the age where she cares what other people think and how things should be done far too much. Of course, being the sanest one in this family doesn’t mean a lot when Granny greets them wearing a T-shirt reading Titty Ho (it’s a street name). It is something of a guilty pleasure to watch Monica grow up, even if she doesn’t grow up that much, as she finds out what’s going on and exactly why her Great Aunt is so desperate for Granny to go into a nursing home. The resolution is well-thought out, neatly done, and I’ll bet Monica is very glad the Atlantic is so wide after what she pulls to sort things out.

The only thing I’d have liked would have been an actual name for what is causing her brother’s behaviour, because although every one acts as though there is a medical cause he’s never treated or handled as if there is. Moncia’s nickname of “Dementia Boy” is typically teenage sister-ish, but not very helpful to a reader (and don’t worry, he gives as good as he gets).

Yes, I laughed, yes, it is an easy three and likely a four, no I don’t have a clue what to say about it in a review. Family chaos? Oh yes. A good book for teenagers? Again yes, although it would probably appeal to YA readers of any age, as the older ones can look back and laugh.

Rating: 4
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Discussion

rz3300 (24 August 2016)
Well I have to say that the title does a good job of grabbing my attention, which is certainly a good thing. To hear that it has all the makings of a family drama also means that it is relateable to me, and probably everyone else on the planet. I would say that I am past that age that it looks like it is meant for, but I always like to have things to recommend to my students. Thanks for sharing.

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