Combining an engaging and confrontational story about growing up with a twist of adventure, this novel centers on Joel and Craggs, two loyal friends who drink together, commit robbery together, and, when Craggs turns violent, face the consequences together as well. When Joel's dad finally makes a deal with the cops, his son ends up in solitary confinement while Craggs is sent off to juvenile detention. Contending that the past is never truly buried, this tale portrays the influence of peer pressure on teenagers and both the positive and dangerous choices they must face.
This was unexpectedly a very good book! It was recommended to me from a bookish friend, but I wasn't first. Funnily enough, she recommended it to many of her other friends, but they politely declined to read it. Well, I can tell you, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this book! So you should try it out!
Since Joel Strattan became best mates with Craggs, he has done nothing but break the rules and be bad. But is there a side of him that can be scrubbed out and polished clean? Is this even possible? After being sentenced with ninety days banishment from civilisation, Joel finally gets a chance to rethink his life. And to eat 90 packets of instant noodles.
I loved the theme of finding yourself and change. Although the change in Joel was generally subtle, you could tell in the big picture that he'd matured in a great way. Plonk Joel next to Craggs and you can see that for yourself.
I particularly enjoyed reading the letters that Joel received from Bella. His genuine love and care for her was heart-warming. Just looking at their relationship, you can tell that Joel has a soft, fluffy side to him. Normally, I wouldn't be able to realise, or even know, that teenage delinquents could be so kind to the ones they love. It shows that people aren't really what you think.
The final thing that I loved about 90 Packets of Instant Noodles is that the story is set in Australia! If you have read Stolen: A letter to my captor though, the part of Australia in this book is different from it. 90 Packets of Instant Noodles is set in the less harsher area of Western Australia, which can be slightly less arid. Anyway, I don't often come across books set in Australia. Although, the author of this book, Deb Fitzpatrick, is Aussie, so this makes sense.
Oh, and finally, one last note. (This is what my friend warned me before I borrowed the book.) There is a lot of swearing. And when I say a lot, I really do mean a lot. So if you're one of those people who loathe bad language, then you probably shouldn't touch this book ;)
When I read this, I picture:
When I read this, I remember: "Obviously, I did once believe in the notion of forever-and-ever-amen, and obviously there are some things I can say 'always' to, or 'I promise' -- like loving my son or mowing my lawn. But in reality, I don't believe that it's possible to project how you will feel, in, say, twenty years' time, let alone in fifty or sixty."