April 4, 2014
Dented Cans by Heather Walsh
Dented Cans is the story of Hannah Sampson’s functionally dysfunctional family.
Her father is an accountant. Despite making a fair amount of money, he was very cheap. He also buys dented cans because the prices on they are always marked down, and it gives them a cheaper meal than they would have had before. His is a bit OCD and makes sure everything is spotless. Even the phones are basically soaked in Lysol.
Her mother worked at her little brother’s school. She is very serious. She doesn’t laugh at jokes much, and always seems to have on a straight face.
Hannah’s first mission is to buy a car. She reads the car ads religiously trying to find the right car at the right price to fit her budget. Once she finds one, she must try to talk her parents into letting her buy one. This is no simple task because of how cheap they are with their money.
One dilemma hanging in the air is the family trip to Disney World. The idea is brought up at the beginning of the book, and the two oldest kids – Hannah and Ryan – are not too thrilled about going. They have already been there, but their youngest brother, Ben, was too young to remember.
Ben is now eight years old, but he is different from other kids. He makes a lot of sound effects and doesn’t talk much.
Ryan seems to be a normal teenager, but he is the complete opposite of Hannah academically. Hannah strives for perfect grades, and just getting a B on her report card upsets her. Ryan scrapes by with lower grades and isn’t too concerned when he winds up with a D in Spanish. He claims that the teacher sucks and everyone else got bad grades as well.
They are definitely not a normal family, but they get by.
Then the trip to Disney World finally happens.
Hannah and Ryan do not want to be there. They would rather be off doing their own thing: Ryan – playing some video game, Hannah – studying her SAT vocabulary words.
Ben is sort of indifferent to the whole trip. He enjoys some of it, but most of the time he is off in his own little world.
On the way home, Hannah’s mother reveals a family secret that changes the way the kids view their parents. It is a pretty touching scene but also very sad at the same time.
I enjoyed reading this novel. It made me laugh at times. Hannah’s personality was entertaining at parts, and her conversations with Ryan added some humor as well.
It was a pretty easy read. The chapters were a little lengthy, but they seemed to go by fairly quick.
I could see there being a sequel to this.