The Things That Will Not Stand
Written by Michael Gerard Bauer
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan
The latest offering from Brisbane author is a great read for teenagers especially those still trying to work out what relationships are all about. The main character Seb, a year 11 student, is attending a university open day with his best friend Tolly to get some information about possible careers and study options. He’s thinking town planning but then he meets Frida, a girl who is not afraid to be different, and who encourages him to widen his horizons. Everything about her, her appearance, her attitude, her stories is challenging. Seb and Frida begin a day where they encourage and push each other to be honest, to share their hopes and dreams and what is and was important in their lives. Seb is fascinated, mystified, and appalled by what he finds out. At the end of the day is Frida the girl he wants to know better?
Bauer has filled this book with hilarious puns, jokes and one-liners that keep the reader laughing while cleverly involving you in the heartwarming story of these two teens discovering each other. There is a serious core underneath all the wise-cracking humour. This book is about knowing yourself, finding out what you want and who you really are and then being brave enough to present that to the world. In other words, it’s story about growing up. Both Seb and Frida are changed by their day together. I enjoyed the way Bauer cleverly references two films The Big Lebowski (1998) and Casablanca (1942) throughout. If you have seen the films it will add an extra layer of meaning and if you haven’t it may encourage you to see them. But read the book first, its a winner!