Title: Shut Your Face, Anthony Pace!
Author: Al Stewart, Claire Davis
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Release Date: May 26th 2016
Page Count: 125
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
First love – coming of age – family – acceptance
When Charlie was eight years old, his mum bought him a microscope for his birthday. Since then, he’s known how he wants to spend his life. There have been trials, and challenges, but now – finally – the day is here for him to start college with his lifelong friend Anthony Pace.
Anthony is a red-haired force of nature. He writes poetry about their enemies and eagerly participates in all Charlie’s science experiments without understanding a word. Every morning, he waits at the end of their street so they can get the bus together.
But things are changing.
Families are important, and complex. Charlie’s mum hasn’t been well, and his relationship with Anthony begins to shine like a different star in the sky.
Can everything come together in this explosion of physics and chemicals that Charlie calls life? Will Anthony Pace ever share his poems with the world, and can the Chihuahua, Princess Arabella, ever learn to stop licking?
WARNING: includes moderately explicit scenes of intimacy between consenting young adult males.
“Yesterday, it had seemed there was a choice to be made but today, there were no choices, only a destiny that was set long ago.”
You guys…I just loved this book so much. I think it’s my favorite from the authors, which speaks volumes, because I love their work.
This is a coming of age story. It’s about friendship, family, love, and falling in love with your best friend. Or just realising that this tingling on your skin means you ‘ve always been in love with him.
“You showed me space with your telescope when I was six years old, remember?”[…]
“Once a boy shows you the stars, they’re a hard act to follow.”
Anthony Pace (aka local sex god or defender of lemon curd orupholder of standards e.t.c) is special. He writes poems, he is a red-haired, freckled force of nature and never gives up. He lives and breathes Charlie, even if Charlie doesn’t see it. He gets Charlie.
Charlie Woods is special. He’s somewhere in the autism spectrum. He’s brilliant and about to become a scientist and defeat all the bacteries! He takes care of his mom who has dementia and he loves Anthony Pace.
It made me feel all kinds of feelings, this story. I smiled, I laughed, I cheered for Charlie and Anthony and I teared up. And I ugly cried at 90%. Because reasons.
The story is told from Charlie’s POV, but we sort of get Anthony’s POV too, through his poems. Some poems are funny, some others are thoughtful. “I’m in love with Charlie Woods”, is a punch to the gut.
Charlie’s voice about the way he experiences his mother’s disease floored me, and it was heartbreaking. Alice was a truly magnificent character.
The flashbacks are EVERYTHING! There is just the right amount of steam, and the whole story is deliciously British.
I can’t tell you how much I loved this story. Very highly recommended!
“…What does this world need?”
“Me. Me and Anthony. This world needs Charlie Woods and Anthony Pace.”