After the heavy-but-extremely-satisfying Art of Losing by Keith Dixon, I decided to go lighter and more romantic with my next choice. Lo and behold, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler appeared on my hold shelf. It’s a young adult book, which means I’m older than the target audience for this novel by roughly twenty years, but I’ve found (to my surprise) that many YA novels can hold their own against the regular adult variety. Plus, a writer can’t find a better topic than the coming-of-age novel.
Scrambled Eggs is written by two authors who alternate chapters – Brad Barkley writes the chapter from the boy’s point of view, then Heather Hepler advances the story in the next chapter from the girl’s point of view, and it continues back and forth like a tennis match. It sounds a bit schlocky, but in the hands of these writers who treat their subjects with love and care, it works. Eliot is the son of a youth minister who runs a Christian-themed summer camp for fat kids, while across town, Calliope’s mom moves in working as a beer wench and booth artist at the town’s Renaissance Faire. Eliot and Cal grow up over this summer, and discover the magic of first loves.
Both authors do well at describing what the characters go through and what they feel. It’s a sweet story with excellent insight. Sure, there’s some difficulties and misunderstandings, and towards the end you get the feeling that things might just work out, but honestly you’re just happy to be along for the ride. There’s magic here, and it wonderfully recaptures the feeling of being fifteen again. And that’s something this thirty-mumblemumble should remember once in a while.