Happy As Larry was my choice of Friday Book Beginnings & 56.
Since then, I have barely put the book down (except to go to Christmas related functions and to complete basic household chores!)
Gardner's writing is mesmerising, the story engaging, the characters flawed but loveable.
Laurence Augustine Rainbow's life story is woven around the major world events of the past 20 years. We meet his family, neighbours and friends.
There's the neighbourhood bully, pets, school, church and several near-death experiences. Despite the happy title, there is a menacing tone that lingers throughout Larry's story.
There are moments of gut-wrenching heartbreak and moments that explode with the sheer joy of being alive.
The entire time, I was on tenterhooks, waiting for the disaster. But Gardner doesn't make it that obvious. The disaster's happen but the disintegration that happens is a gradual process that creeps up on you (as well as on the characters).
I cannot recommend this young adult novel to you highly enough. It's gritty, intelligent and funny. If you like Craig Silvey and John Green then give Happy As Larry and The Dead I Know a chance - you wont be disappointed.