Title: Dan Vs. Nature
Author: Don Calame
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Dan Weekes has two dreams in life: to become a famous graphic novelist and to one day muster the courage to ask Erin Reilly out on a date. Dan’s mom, however, has just one goal: to date every man in the state of California until she finally finds her Prince Charming. When Dan comes home to find a Hugh Jackman look-alike in his kitchen, he’s prepared to write off this mountain-man-slash-dentist as another soon-to-be-ex. But then his mom drops a bomb: she and Hugh—er, Hank—are engaged, and she’s sending her “two favorite men” on a survivalist camping trip in the wilds of Idaho to “bond.” But Dan knows that it’s only a matter of time till Hank shows his true—flawed—colors, so together with his nerdy, germophobe best friend, Charlie, Dan launches Operation Torment Crusade—a series of increasingly gross and embarrassing pranks they’ll pull on Hank until he breaks like a twig. But the boys didn’t count on a hot girl joining their trip or a man-hungry bear stalking their every move. How can Dan possibly scare off Hank when his very survival now depends on him?
Dan Vs. Nature by Don Calame is a Young Adult survival adventure novel. It follows our main character Dan, along with his best friend Charlie, soon-to-be step-dad Hank, and their woodland travel companions. On their five day trip, they run into many obstacles, while Charlie assists Dan in scaring off Hank.
Dan and his best friend Charlie are teenage boys and, as expected, they were extremely immature. All they focused on throughout the whole camping trip was try to scare off Hank. They did this in pretty gross ways, so this book was filled with disgusting pranks (Charlie being the mastermind behind them all) and usually leaving Dan suffering. I have to admit that this book was pretty hilarious sometimes. What brought my rating to a 2/5 to a 3/5 was how at the end, Dan finally used his brain, matured a bit, and let everyone be happy. I felt bad for Hank because he was just an innocent bystander trying his best to adapt to being a father-figure.
These characters definitely went on an adventure. When you put a bunch of inexperienced people in a forest in the middle of nowhere, there are bound to be problems, which there were. I felt kind of bad for laughing at these character’s misfortunes, but most of the time they were hilarious.
My favourite character was Penelope. She was so quirky and brave (even more brave than the boys on the trip, go her)! Her and Charlie’s chemistry was so perfect. Their banter was so nerdy and their insults were so complicated and scientifical!
I could only relate to Penelope because of her love of reading. I love when characters love to read because that is one thing that I can for sure relate to.
I thought that this was an okay book. My favourite part of this book was near the end when the characters were all working together! My least favourite part was the immaturity of Dan and Charlie. I also did not enjoy some of the beginning/middle of the book to be boring, and I spent most of those parts of the book shaking my head at how ridiculous Dan and Charlie’s antics were.
If you enjoy survival type books with immature teenage boys, a strong and quirky girl, this might be the book for you!
Happy reading and have a lovely day!