I discovered Bricking It on the Kindle Bestsellers list and thought that, if thousands of other of people were buying it, I would give it a go, too. I hadn’t actually even read the Amazon description when I started reading it, so I really didn’t know what to expect.
I instantly liked the chatty and friendly tone that greeted me, from both narrates. Their brother and sister dynamic was presented well, and fairly realistically: almost endless bickering and teasing, but with their sibling love could always be spotted underneath it all. This brother and sister relationship also meant that, from the very start, the book was humorous, but not in a way that tried to be clever or witty- it was simply the sort of humour that comes out of siblings criticising each other: Dan was the typical stereotype of the slightly lazy younger brother, and Hayley the stereotypical controlling older sister that always likes to highlights her little brother’s faults.
In spite of the main characters’ relationship is fairly common in a novel, the situation around which their relationship is presented is not: they are left to renovate their late Grandmother’s country house- hence the book’s title. This subject was much more comedic that one might initially imagine, as the siblings discover a completely new side of their Grandmother that they, happily, were unaware of before the project, and the team they hire to complete the renovation fill the book with humour.
However, other than simply finding the book funny, I was genuinely interested in the outcome of the property renovation and the future of the house, given that there was so much hesitation at the start. And even though romance wasn’t at the forefront of the book, I did want to follow the relationships that did develop between one of the characters- especially those that I did not see coming at all! What’s more, I did genuinely care for Nick and Hayley, and I think that is partly down to Spalding perfecting the amount of background information- I knew enough about them to empathise with them, but didn’t feel that I was overloaded with information that was crafted to make me feel a specific way.
I think what also added to my enjoyment of the book is that Spalding’s writing style is very inoffensive- and I mean that as a compliment, rather than a suggestion that it’s boring. He does not attempt to use over ambitious vocabulary, be overly witty, or try to over complicate anything. This means that I was able to read the content of the book, without any distractions of an irritating writing style.
With all considered, I would definitely recommend Bricking It. Just because the narrative wasn’t complex, that is not to say that it was not interesting, and it definitely included a handful of surprises! It was easy to read without being simplistic, and was easy to pick up and put down. I will explore some other of Spalding’s works.