It deals with a typical, awkward young boy who embarks on a new journey by joining a boarding school in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands - away from his crazy, eccentric parents.
This book is written in the diary format, which I personally enjoyed, because one can see that fine line between what the boy thinks and what the actual reality of the situation is.
There are often times when you hear of the bizarre and unruly incidents that happen in high school - but what gives this book that extra edge is the fact that it's an all-boys boarding school, and there are a range of characters - all of whom will invoke a certain feeling towards them as the story progresses.
It is of vital importance that the reader can find an emotional connection with the characters that are presented, otherwise they just appear to be floating objects with no significance whatsoever. And here's where I think Van De Ruit has nailed it.
His writing style is extremely readerly, which is why I loved reading this book. He has managed to keep the reader constantly engaged and wanting more from the characters and the events that take place. There is a lot of unpredictability and unforeseen events, which makes this book a real page-turner.
Even though Spud seems to be male-focused, I believe that either sex would find this book very appealing. If you look at some of the details mentioned here and there, you will notice that they are about some of the most normal situations that most teenagers who are still figuring out their lives find themselves in. Yet, Van De Ruit has a way of representing this information in a way that can make it relevant later in the book - and in a big way.
This book also showcases the way of thinking regarding sensitive situations like apartheid, racism and political unrest that went on in the early 90s in South Africa. Hence, the author creates a reasonable balance of humour and seriousness in a way that can reach out to a wide audience.
So if you're looking for a new book to take with you during those long hours of travelling, or simply something light for later at night before hitting the snooze button, then I'd highly recommend you to give this Trilogy a shot! I just started the second book a couple of days ago and am reading it like a religious book - there's so much happening that you want to keep reading on.