Today is my tour stop on the UQP and #AusYABloggers review tour celebrating the release of Australian Author Penny Tangey’s new book As Fas As I Can.
As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey
Genre: Contemporary, #LoveOzMG
Publication: March 31st, 2020
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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
From CBCA-shortlisted author Penny Tangey comes this funny, heartfelt novel about ten-year-old Vivian and her quest to one day become an Olympic middle-distance runner. Dealing with themes around chronic illness, persistence and acceptance.
One girl. One dream. A few hurdles.
Ten-year-old Vivian is determined to win a medal at the Olympic Games one day. Problem is, she hasn’t found a sport she’s any good at yet. But everyone says if you work hard enough you can achieve anything, right? So when Vivian discovers she has a talent for cross country running, finally, her Olympic dream might actually come true.
But then a family illness is uncovered and all of Vivian’s plans begin to unravel. Can she keep her dream alive? Or will she be stopped in her tracks?
A funny, heartfelt novel about resilience, acceptance and dreaming big.
Oh wow, this book brought back memories of primary school athletes’ carnivals, Heathy Harold visits, and the excitement of learning about the Olympics for the first time. But don’t worry, you do not need to be into sports or follow the Olympics to enjoy this story. Even though I’m not a big sports fan in general and being that the only sports I will actually sit down and watch involve motors, wheels, and insane speeds – I still really enjoyed this book.
As Fast As I Can is the tale of Vivian Hassler, a young girl whose Olympic dreams are shattered by a life-altering doctor’s diagnosis. We follow the POV character Vivian through the ups of finally feeling like her dreams are achievable, to the downs of having to learn to deal and live with chronic illness.
Even though sad things happen, this is not a sad book – It is a heartwarming book. Vivian Hassler is a bright, charismatic, and energetic girl, who was easy to like and easy to connect with.
I do wish this book would have had an epilogue. I am not a big fan of open endings, they feel unfinished to me, but hey, some people love them. The ending points in the direction of Vivian accepting her illness. But I would have loved an epilogue showing her enjoying new hobbies and just generally being happy. Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed the book, 4/5 stars, and I intend to look into Penny’s other books. I just would have liked to see her finding a new passion, not just realizing she needs to, as she is only just starting to come to terms with her diagnosis when the story ends.
I love the variety of Aussie Middle-Grade titles coming out these days! For the intended audience, this book will teach kids empathy, family and friendship dynamics, how to handle disappointment, the importance of hobbies, and how there is more than one way to live out your dreams. For me as an adult, I may not have learned anything new, but it was still a captivating read that I am so happy to see exists and one that I intend to share with my boys.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Penny Tangey writes humorous books for young people. Penny studied Arts/Science at Melbourne University majoring in Chemistry and Indonesian. While at university Penny performed stand-up comedy, including in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Penny now works as a researcher for television quiz shows Hard Quiz and The Chase, but is still terrible at trivia.
Penny’s latest book As fast As I Can, is her fourth book published by University of Queensland Press. Her three previous novels being; Loving Richard Feynman, Clara in Washington, and Stay Well Soon.
You can find Penny at her website HERE and on Twitter HERE.
Follow along on the tour HERE.
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Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂