Release Date: August 7, 2014 - in UK only so far
Publisher: Hot Key Books
As part of his prize for winning the All-UK Knitting Championships, seventeen-year-old Ben Fletcher has won himself an all-expenses paid trip to New York... and to the US National KnitFair. Unfortunately his new girlfriend Megan is (somewhat suspiciously) unable to come with him, which means Ben has the dubious pleasure of being accompanied by his family and his third-choice-friend Gex.
The other problem is, Ben's not really sure he wants to be known as teenage knitting genius any more. His idea for a knit-able hoodie could make him millions... or turn him into a laughing stock forever. An existential knitting crisis turns out to be the least of Ben's concerns though, as he quickly finds that his apparent magnetism for trouble has followed him across the pond. Join Ben for another hilarious misadventure, involving some overly-eager Knitting Expo representatives, suspicious men in dark suits, some potential trouble from the Mob, a mix-up of epic proportions with Megan... and still rather a lot of knitting. (courtesy of Goodreads)
A really fun book. Not quite as good as the first book Boys Don't Knit, but still full of laugh-out-loud and some cringe laugh moments.
I think the highlight of the book for me was the PR person Ben was assigned to, Brandi. She felt like a very stereotypical American in the funniest ways. She assumed that since Ben was British, he didn't know anything about the U.S., including 9/11. I am trying to decide which is more arrogant - assuming that non-Americans don't know anything about the U.S. despite that American culture and politics infiltrate much of the world. Or assuming that non-American know everything about the U.S., because of course American news is important worldwide. Both are arrogant assumptions, I suppose. I feel like assuming non-Americans know nothing is the more arrogant, though. Perhaps because we Americans barely know anything about what goes on in the rest of the world and I feel like other countries have a more global perspective than we do.
Back to the review...Ben gets himself into some real trouble by implying that he can knit faster than a machine and spends much of his week scrambling to get out of it. That's just some of his problems though. His weird friend Gex - who only occasionally redeems himself - is causing trouble and convincing Ben that they're getting caught up with the mafia. He's worried that his parents are having marital trouble. He's worried that his girlfriend Megan doesn't like him anymore and/or is cheating on him.
It's all these worries that made the book not quite as fun for me. Ben is an anxious, perfectionist, type-A person. Knitting's ability to relax him is a major part of why he likes it. So I don't mind reading about a few worries here and there. But this book took it too far. There's awkward funny and ugh, not again awkward. This book crossed the line several times. Particularly with Ben's anxiety over Megan - when pretty much anyone other than him could tell he was overreacting.
Despite a few flaws, if you were a fan of Boys Don't Knit, you should really read this book. It's funny and heartwarming but best of all returns us to the world of Ben the Knitter, which on the whole is a very enjoyable place to be.
Recommendation: Buy if you loved Boys Don't Knit
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