6 April 2016

Read with me: Half Irish by Peter J. S. Waugh

HALF IRISH by Peter J. S. Waugh. Published by The White Signature in June 2015



About Half Irish 
Follow 17 year-old Tyler from the busy streets of Manhattan to the empty beaches of Ireland. From gigging in coffee shops in Tribeca to standing on the Cliffs of Moher, busking in Belfast to late night drives with his beautiful summer girlfriend Tabitha, Half Irish takes you on a journey as you rediscover what it means to fall in love all over again and again and again. Thanks to the wistful hope-filled thoughts and a driving narrative Half Irish, the debut novel from Peter J. S. Waugh, is one of the best debuts to come out of Belfast in decades. This heart-warming coming of age love story will make you laugh until you cry, and cry until you begin to dream again.

Prologue
I usually dislike prologues, because they're so confusing, or at best I'm indifferent. This time however, I love the prologue! It begins with poetry or rather, a poem, I guess you could call it and it's so inviting! The prologue is a letter from Tyler about him and that's so clever! We get to know him a bit before we get into the story and I love that! I feel close to our narrator already.
Also, I love the writing style and I can hear Tyler speak clearly in my mind!

Chapter 1
Well, I love the relationship Tyler has with his parents! AND impromptu 'dance party'! That reminds me of Fangirl which is near and dear to my heart - definitely A+ from here!

Page 9
Thank god for a mature main character instead of a brat! Tyler's parents want Tyler to pay for his trip to Ireland by himself - so he needs to get a job - and they're not going with him. Instead of acting like a child he realizes that he has been taking his parents for granted! He's scared since it's his first trip alone and I love him for that! He's true to himself and more characters should have that trait. 

Page 24
I'm definitely a fan of using different 'formats' in books and of course Waugh does so - I think he's read my mind to be honest! So far Half Irish is everything I want in a book! There are lists - different types actually - and you know I love my lists! And Tyler writes some sort of limerick - which I adore him for and probably like more than I should. I just love all the effort!
These different formats make the story so much better because it adds a little something different - also it's more fun and I'm definitely having a good time here!

Page 28
A whole chapter dedicated to his parents, mainly his mom! And even though it's quite a short chapter I love that! I love how close we get to the characters - even if it's only Tyler and his mom and dad so far. I like that we get their lovestory! Tyler is definitely a good guy who loves his parents.
The only problem I have so far is that during this chapter he called his mother 'Esther' instead of mom while telling their story and I don't like that shift in narration - he couldn't have known all those details either. I really like Tyler's way of narrating though.

Page 38
Another poem! I'm not one for poetry but it's quite good to be honest - maybe I do like poetry after all.

Page 57
So, so far we have lists, poetry, a song and a tweet. I'm not sure I'm totally on board with all the #'s from Tyler's side - but we'll see. I'm still enjoying it a lot though.

Page 65
And now a RAP! Tyler is on fire! I didn't realize how into music he is in the beginning but now I know! A singer-songwriter even.
I was actually very much into music in 'my younger years' and I still sing in our local church choir so I can definitely relate to Tyler - also, we're very close in age. And go him for getting so many gigs! Performing is a great way to find yourself!
I'm also surprised that there is so many, or two so far, who are religious. It's not a problem yet but I hope it doesn't become too prominent - cause even though I sing in a church doesn't mean I like to read about religion.
POEM FROM THE PROLOGUE WHICH I ABSOLUTELY LOVE

Page 82
I quite like how 'realistic' Tyler's way of narrating is. When you tell a story you usually, or always, forget some vital part and have to go back and tell it - or you get ahead of yourself and skip to the best part and then have to go back and tell the entire thing. And that's what Tyler does! It feels realistic and he makes me laugh quite often.

Page 101
Texts! Totally forgot to mention them!
Also I'm quite excited because Tyler makes to do lists and his packing list is actually in the book! I love my lists and I always make a packing list! I especially love when characters make lists - it makes me feel like less of a dork.

Page 103
His friend, Rodriguez, has made a hand made guide book for Ireland for Tyler! What a friend! I wish I'd had my own hand made guidebook when I went to Ireland!

Page 114
Tyler, I like you more and more for every page I turn! Instead of ignoring the old guy, Chris, on the plane he's very friendly and takes an interest in Chris! I definitely like that about Tyler!
I also love how Waugh has chosen to deal with descriptions of characters: (brown/messy hair/stubbly beard/grey hoody/etc). It's quick and to the point - and I can actually visualize the characters opposed to her eyes where the color of some beautiful weather phenomenon - yes, it sounds beautiful, but I can't really use it.
Random thought
 I seriously wish I had some apple cider right now! We drank apple cider - or we chose to call it apple beer because in Ireland they don't have 'sweet' apple cider like here in Denmark with 1. something % alcohol. No, it contains as much alcohol as beer and is quite strong! But I always think of Ireland when I drink apple cider! 
Page 116
I need to confess something. I don't really travel. I've only ever visited Dublin, Ireland and a few cities in Netherlands - and trips to Germany. Which means I usually have a hard time visualizing how a place looks - I know it's never accurate and I hate that. However, this time I can see everything perfectly. I can smell and taste the BBQ pulled pork and fries Tyler eats - because that's something I got when I was in Dublin. I can also see the Temple Bar area clearly and it's such a different experience to be able to see the scenes happening and so on! It definitely takes me back!

THE BEAUTIFUL THING ABOUT LOVE IS THAT IT CAN STRIKE THE HEART WITCH MORE POWER THAN A HURRICANE, YET FEEL AS SOFT AS A SUMMER'S BREEZE

Page 128
Major in English Literature!? I could love you Tyler! I also love the fact that he writes a little something in his notebook everyday, or at least tries to. It was definitely a beautiful entry he wrote just now!

Page 151
I like the small history lessons Tyler gives us! Some of it I know and some are new to me. I don't know if I'd enjoy it in another book or this is a special case because it's Ireland... But I like it!

Page 173
Turns out Patrick, Tyler's cousin, is quite funny and makes me laugh out loud #doesourbromancemeannothingtoyou. Maybe I do like the #'s just a bit.
Also, we're getting to the good stuff now! Tyler is such a sweetheart with Tabitha.

Page 175
GOD I love the family relationships in this book! Tyler just got home from his first date and they end up having an impromptu family meeting talking about dates; the awkward, the horrible, the romantic etc. I especially love that his aunt says she's going to put a kettle on and his uncle immediately declares 'family meeting in 5'. It's such a lovely atmosphere and I wish more books included family in this manner.

Page 190
So we've known that something was going on with Patrick for a while - we just haven't known what. I've been thinking a variety of things but his sudden revelation actually surprised me - and I'm not often surprised when it comes to characters and secrets. More often than not it's so easy to guess what's wrong but Waugh - you fooled me.

Page 216
You know when you come across words you don't know and the author, or publisher, has made a footnote explaining said word - just to be kind. Well, Waugh has technically done that too, but instead of a footnote the explanation is on the last page in that particular chapter and it's quite a hassle having to find the last page of said chapter to get an explanation. I don't really know how I feel about it entirely.

Page 226
I'm glad it's not 'all about Tabitha'! Too many YA books become centered around 'the love' and forgets 'the family' and 'the friends' and other important stuff.
Also, props to Tyler for acting like a man and texting Tabitha after their fight. Even though she should apologize to him! Another plus for you in my book Tyler!

Page 314
Again, Tyler, you're such a sweetheart! Taking your grandma out for afternoon tea and pampering her definitely wins you some points! Also, you've grown and I love your and Pat's bromance. It's the best.

Page 350
Even though the entire book is full of life lessons, the letter Tyler receives from his Granda is jammed to the brim with life lessons. It's poetic, hauntingly beautiful and something to treasure. I'll definitely follow his advice.

THE BEAUTIFUL BACK! LOVE THE QUOTE AT THE TOP
The end
I really think Half Irish was a great read even though I had some problems with it. Definitely a solid 4 star read!
Even though Half Irish is just over 400 pages long it's a quick and easy read - perfect for summer! Well, an Irish (or Danish) summer..  I love the fact that friendship and family took an important role in this book and the love part stayed in the background. I will definitely read more of Peter J. S. Waugh's work (if he writes more) because I love his way of writing. It's youthful yet beautiful and a joy to read. 


Buy the book
Amazon UK ⎜Amazon US ⎜Petewaugh.com

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