When thinking about characters with bad luck, my mind quickly jumped to two characters in my favourite funny books, who just seem to have the absolute worst of luck.
Both of these books are also perfect if you’re missing summer, since they’re both set during the summer holidays.
Birdie Milano – Boy Meets Hamster
Fourteen-year-old Dylan Kershaw’s idea of a dream holiday includes at least three things: beaches to bask on, cosmopolitan culture, and a chance for romance (or at least his first kiss) with another boy. Unluckily for Dylan, this year his mum’s treating the family to the least dreamy holiday ever: a £9.50 break at Starcross Sands, Cornwall’s Crummiest Caravan Park.
But Starcross Sands might not be so bad after all, especially if Dylan can win the heart of Jayden-Lee, the gorgeous boy in the caravan next-door. There’s only one thing standing in true love’s way: the park’s massive hamster mascot, Nibbles, who seems to have it in for both Dylan and his romantic chances. Dylan’s best friend, Kayla, claims that appearances can be deceptive: so is Jayden-Lee just as lovely beneath the surface, and what could be lurking under Nibbles’ furry face?
In Boy Meets Hamster, Dylan really can’t seem to win. All he wants is to have a nice holiday and to maybe kiss a boy for the first time. But the most absurdist things keep happening to him, and it’s all a very big mess. This gay middlegrade book is as ridiculous as it is funny.
Simon James Green – Alex in Wonderland
In the town of Newsands, painfully shy Alex is abandoned by his two best friends for the summer. But he unexpectedly lands a part-time job at Wonderland, a run-down amusement arcade on the seafront, where he gets to know the other teen misfits who work there. Alex starts to come out of his shell, and even starts to develop feelings for co-worker Ben… who, as Alex’s bad luck would have it, has a girlfriend.
Then as debtors close in on Wonderland and mysterious, threatening notes start to appear, Alex and his new friends take it on themselves to save their declining employer. But, like everything in Wonderland, nothing is quite what it seems…
Another book with quite a lot of slapstick-like humour based off the main character’s terrible luck, is Alex in Wonderland. This YA book has a gay protagonist as well, and it’s so funny it had me laugh out loud a couple of times.
If you order books through the links in this post, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me review more books and host more giveaways, so I’d be very grateful if you used it!