Title: Dan Versus Nature
Author: Don Calame
Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Synopsis from Goodreads:
From screenwriter Don Calame comes another outrageously funny and raunchy tale of teen boys whose plans go awry — this time, on a survivalist camping trip.
Shy and scrawny Dan Weekes spends his time creating graphic novels inspired by his dream girl and looking out for his mom as she dates every man in the state of California. Then his mom drops a bomb: she and her latest beau, Hank, are engaged, and she’s sending her “two favorite men” on a survivalist camping trip to “bond.” Determined to trick Hank into showing his true — flawed — colors on the trip, Dan and his nerdy germaphobe best friend, Charlie, prepare a series of increasingly gross and embarrassing pranks. But the boys hadn’t counted on a hot girl joining their trip or on getting separated from their wilderness guide—not to mention the humiliating injuries Dan suffers in the course of terrorizing his stepdad-to-be. With a man-hungry bear on their trail, no supplies, and a lot of unpleasant itching going on, can Dan see his plan through now that his very survival depends on Hank?
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Dan is used to all of the losers his mom dates and he isn’t surprised when they leave her…like they always do. When Dan comes home one day to find that the man her mother is dating (Hank) is now his soon to be stepdad, Dan decides that he must do everything in his power to stop the wedding from happening. When Dan’s mother presents him with a camping trip to take with Hank as his birthday present, Dan sees the camping trip as an opportunity. Perhaps if Dan can make Hank as miserable and upset as possible, maybe his future won’t be the sound of wedding bells.
I had high expectations for Dan Versus Nature. Ever since I have read Winger and Stand Off by Andrew Smith, books that involve male protagonist and disastrous humor definitely catch my eye. Dan Versus Nature did not disappoint. From the very first chapter, hilarity ensued. The pranks that Dan and his best friend, Charlie, formulate are seriously outrageous. With sour cream and onion body odor, forced projectile vomiting, doe urine, and more, the practical jokes and how they come to pass will have you rolling.
Dan Versus Nature was quite the quick read for me. The humor was constant and my attention did not waver. There was also some pleasant character development and development in character relationships, which is something I always appreciate. While this is my first book to read by Don Calame, it most certainly will not be my last.
4 out of 5 stars
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