One of our Sneak Peeks volunteers has been making his way through the White Pine books for 2017! Here is a look at his thoughts on one of the nominees!
Dan vs. Nature by Don Calame is one of the White Pine nominees for 2017 and was an absolutely fantastic read! One of the things I enjoy most about the White Pine Collection is that they select the most talented authors who can tell stories that can capture the interests of any reader. I also enjoyed this book because it is about an individual who has spectacular ambitions in his life, and it inspires me because that is a person who I always dreamed of becoming. To have the confidence, and motivation to set goals for yourself without demoting yourself along the way is amazing.
The story focuses on a character named Dan Weekes, and he has two dreams in his life that he wants to achieve. He wants to become a famous graphic novelist, and he also wants to one day master the courage to ask out this beautiful girl named Erin Reilly on a date. Dan’s mom also has just has one goal that she wants to pursue in life: to date every man in the state of California until she finally comes across the future husband of her dreams, and Prince Charming. One day, Dan comes home to find his mom dating a boyfriend that looks like Hugh Jackman, and he decides that he is prepared to write off this mountain man slash dentist as another soon to be ex.
However, Dan’s initial assumption is false because his mom decides to drop a metaphorical bomb on her son. She announces that she and her boyfriend are engaged, and she is sending Dan, and the look alike Hugh Jackman to a survivalist camping trip in the wilds of Idaho to bond. Dan understands that it is only a matter of time before Mr. Hugh Jackman shows the true colors of his personality and decides to executes a plan, along with his nerdy germophobe friend named Charlie, called Operation Torment Crusade. Operation Torment Crusade is a series of increasingly gross and embarrassing pranks they will pull on this so called fiancé until he breaks down psychologically like a twig. However, the boys did not expect a hot girl joining their trip, or a hungry bear that keeps stalking every move that they make. Now, Dan and Charlie’s operation will not be able to be executed successfully because how can they scare off the fiancé when their very own survival depends on him!
This book is hilarious, and I will admit that it deserves a perfect score because almost every page had me laughing (and that’s coming from someone who has a high tolerance for humor)! This book would appeal very easily to teenage boys because there is plenty of gross humor and embarrassing pranks to make you laugh. There is some romance in the plot, but it isn’t your typical teenage love story with its fart, vomiting, and diarrhea jokes. My only complaint is that there were some over-exaggerated, far-fetched scenes like one including an exploding plane, however, this was one compressed package of adventure that everyone will enjoy!
Rating: 5 Stars