BOOK REVIEW: I Am (Not) the Walrus – Ed Briant

GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction
FORM: eBook – NetGalleys

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads):
A quirky story about girls, love, and rock ‘n’ roll
As the singer and bass player for Lucky Twenty, a Beatles cover band, Toby wants to make it big. But Zach, Toby’s best friend and fellow band member, is convinced there’s a problem: Toby’s utter lack of mojo. How can he croon about love when he’s never even kissed a girl?
So begins Toby’s quest for cred as a lovestruck singer. But his quest derails when he finds a note inside his old bass guitar. Who is the true owner of the bass? And can a kiss really help Toby figure out who he is?

REVIEW:  I’ve had a hard time getting into the book at the beginning. If you don’t catch my attention within the first few pages, look out because I may pass you by! I have way too much to do than to read a semi-interesting book…and yes, I do tend to assume the first few pages will reflect how I feel through the duration.

So I Am (Not) the Walrus started out at a rugby match, and over-description is the feel. I usually like details, but when the author is using big flowery words that I don’t tend to think of on a regular basis, it almost just feels like…too much..yah know? Anyhow so it opens in on two teenagey boys discussing their band, and it’s a little bit humorous how at times it seems like they are each keeping up two different conversations between the two of them, AND attempt to play rugby too. They aren’t succeeding at the rugby. Anyhow, Zach (the friend) is single minded – it’s all about the band, and there is nothing more he thinks of in the beginning stages of this book – major one track mind. Toby (main character) is a mishmash of thoughts and imaginings. I suspect he might be a tinsy bit ADHD, but who among us isn’t anyhow?

So I’m reading, and what I just described to you, is about it. It’s getting a little boring, and a little old…until Toby runs into the girl he completely embarrassed himself in front of (twice) the day before. He starts talking to her and – walla! PERSONALITY! I actually like this guy. He’s got a little bit of wit, and he’s compassionate and sincere, despite Michelle’s kind of snotty and a bit ugly (at this point) personality. So I’m snagged – if only to see THIS Toby, and what happens to him….

The thing is, the book is pretty much exactly as I described above all the way through, minus the over descriptive narrative – that was only the very beginning. Toby is a boring “bloke” who only seems to have a personality when around Michelle or his mother. Michelle, thankfully, turns into a fairly nice girl who isn’t really a major part of the book. She’s only around for bits and pieces. There is a villain, Rupert – crazy hippy dude who is extremely strange and out to get the bass. Despite his extreme creepiness, Toby has a weird tendency to stand around talking to the guy, and even willingly hands over the bass to him on an occasion…big red flag of “stupidity” flying over his head right there.

Outside of the fact that Zach and Toby are a Beatles cover band, and it is a forever on-going conversation – it doesn’t even seem like it’s a major point in the book. It’s just the background noise. So what is the point of the book? I have not much of a clue. The book, like Toby, seems a little ADHD. The major plot is this bass guitar; it’s value, the fact that Toby’s brother may or may not have stolen it; the fact that a note inside of it indicates it was certainly stolen at some point; getting the guitar back to its owner, and some strange dude who really, really, really wants it (so badly he gets a knife involved!) So yeah.

I’m not a huge fan. It was NOT the worst book ever in the history of books…I’m pretty sure the book that is there in my heart will not be replaced anytime soon. It is not rated very high – but here’s a fact, it must have been okay enough, because I read it all the way through.


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