Books

Boys Don’t Knit gives a different outlook on knitting

Knitting isn’t just for grandmas, this novel tells a story about a young English teen struggling between his knitting life and his reputation.

Boys Don’t Knit by T.S Easton
Published by Hot Key Books
277 pages

Boys Don’t Knit, by T.S Easton, published in 2014, tells the story of an English teen who realizes that he has a talent for knitting by accident, thanks to a failed crime scheme proposed by his not-so-bright friends. The plan was to steal a bottle of Martini Rosso to bring to a party but it all goes wrong when seventeen-year-old Ben Fletcher collides with a crossing guard leading him getting charged with theft and receiving probation while his friends didn’t. During the probation, he’s required to attend a community college class. The choices included his dad’s car maintenance class but he chose to take a knitting class because he is attracted to the teacher. Unfortunately, there was a switch in teachers and Ben found himself trapped in the class and promised not to tell anyone what he was doing, being afraid that he will embarrass himself in front of his friends and his father.

The novel addresses the issue of sexism and how it’s fine to do something that is out of your comfort zone. Knitting is a whole new world to Ben as he slowly progresses through, realizing that he has a natural talent for knitting and could use the skills he learned to make money by selling his creations on Etsy. The author breaks down the barriers of sexism around certain activities that are associated with one gender and show that regardless of what your gender is, you can pursue anything you want. Nowadays, women are doing what were once considered male activities such as boxing and men are doing what were once considered female activities such as yoga. The world today is more accepting to the interests of all genders. I feel that it is important that the author has touched on this subject and help empower the people who have encountered this type of discrimination. In Ben’s case, his dad was a soccer fanatic and doesn’t see knitting as masculine. Later on in the novel, his dad reveals that he doesn’t like handbags, shoe with heels, and needlework because they aren’t “masculine,” stating that “these are not things for men,” which made Ben more hesitant in telling him.

The author also hints at the subject of acceptance. Some parents have trouble understanding their child’s interests and find it challenging to encourage them to keep going, but it’s harder when it is kept a secret and the child pretends to like a different thing. In Ben’s scenario, his dad is opposed to his decisions and is furious that he kept the secret away from him for so long. His dad reacts by leaving for a few days without disclosing his whereabouts, but eventually calls to talk to Ben about their incident. The author shows that parents will react in some way when they are crossed but come to terms with their child because nobody can stay mad forever. Some parents in the world pave their child’s future without even knowing it. Leaving them thinking that it’s the correct path they should take in order to succeed, causing them to leave their passions behind. But in the end, many students in university pursue a certain major, to find out it’s not what they wanted to do and drop-out. Those students either pursue another major they are actually interested in and achieve a degree or just can’t afford to continue with school and are stuck working at a low-end job.

Most of the humour in this book comes from Ben’s group of friends. Be sure to expect a bunch of English trash talk such as “bellend” and fantasy stories from his friend, Joz. With them being not-so-bright, they will eventually do something stupid and get a laugh out of each other. What made me laugh was the descriptive, fantasy story his friend Joz made and how it’s called “Fifty Shades Of Graham”. A knockoff of the popular book, Fifty Shades of Gray. The group all-together make the novel a hilarious read.

Overall, this book is perfect for the teens of today; it contains gut-busting humour and English banter that for sure will make you chuckle. It is great for someone that loves quick reads, drama and suspense. With the expression of themes such as sexism and acceptance, the book gives a whole new perspective on knitting. Though the diary genre is common, it stands out with it’s one of a kind plot which creates an enjoyable and engaging read.

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