Book Review, Fiction, Middle Grade, Review, Young Adult

Book Review: ‘Free Pizza’, by GC McRae

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 5 votes

About the Author:

GC McRae is the bestselling author of two young adult novels, three illustrated children’s books and a collection of original fairy tales. His writing is fall-down funny, even when the theme is darker than a coal-miner’s cough. GC McRae reads to anybody at any time, in person or online, for free, which probably explains why he meets so many people and sells so many books.

In his latest work, Free Pizza, GC McRae spins the highly emotional themes from his decidedly unfunny childhood into a brilliantly comic yarn. After being given up for adoption by his teenage mom back when single girls were forced to hide unplanned pregnancies, his adoptive parents didn’t exactly keep him under the stairs but, well, let’s just say, there were spiders.

A lot has changed since then. GC McRae’s own children have now grown and he runs a small farm with his wife, who is herself an award-winning writer.

About the Book:

Brian McSpadden is always hungry. Does he have a disease? Worms? Does it have something to do with his being adopted? He spends his days at his crazy friend Danny’s house, hoping for snacks, but nothing seems to fill the void.

​Then Brian receives a mysterious birthday card that says, Free Pizza. He soon discovers the card has nothing to do with food and everything to do with the big questions in his life: where did I come from, why did my mother give me up and is there anyone out there who will like me the way I am?​

Review of ‘Free Pizza’, by GC McRae

I was wondering what was going to happen to all the character in Free Pizza long after I turned the last page, which is always a great sign.  Brian is adorable and charming, and so are his family and friends.

There is something very refreshingly straightforward about the way GC McRae writes.  While there isn’t much introspection on behalf of the main protagonist, it comes off as normal; he is, after all, only twelve years old.  Brian doesn’t interpret much; he observes and relates, which gives readers a sometimes brutally honest view of what is going on.  There is still such an innocence and naiveté about his interpretations, if there are any in the first place.  But his power of observation is quite developed; he notices a lot of things that would have gone unnoticed by people younger than him, or even by adults who have grown unconcerned with really looking around them.

This view leaves a lot to the interpretation of the reader, making this the kind of book that can be as insightful as the reader wants it to be.  A young reader might just appreciate being along for the rise, while an older reader, or a younger one more introspective than Brian, can take a lot away from this book, just from what others say and do.

Combined together, this gives a lot of room for readers to interpret, for themselves, what is happening.

Final Thoughts

A sweet, well-written and engaging story that can be as insightful as the reader wishes it to be, from not at all to incredibly deep.

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 5 votes

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