How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied (My Life Is a Zoo #1) by Jess Keating
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
What would middle school be like if you lived in a zoo?
Ana didn’t ask to be named after an anaconda. She didn’t ask for zoologist parents who look like safari guides. And she definitely didn’t ask for a twin brother whose life goal seems to be terrorizing her with his pet reptiles. Now, to make matters worse, her parents have decided to move the whole family INTO the zoo! All of which gives the Sneerers (the clan of carnivorous female predators in her class) more ammunition to make her life miserable-and squash any hope of class tennis stud, Zack, falling in love with her. Ana tries to channel her inner chameleon and fade into the background, but things are changing too quickly for her to keep up. – Goodreads
This book was adorable. There is really no other way to sum up the book but by calling it adorable. What Jess Keating did in How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied was able to take an anything but ordinary situation and make it relatable. Ana does not have what she considers to be a normal life, she was named after an anaconda, her parents decided to force her to live in a zoo, and her younger brother is the worst person in her life. Then her BFF ‘s parents decided to make the BFF move across the world to New Zealand and the clique of mean girls are terrorizing her.
Ana feels she is not relatable and no one will understand her, but the thing is, she is understandable and relatable. I remember being Ana’s age and knowing that no one really understood me. Of course, looking back, people did understand and knew what I was going through. Minus the whole living in the zoo bit, I understood Ana. I knew what it was like to have to stand up and give a presentation when you didn’t want to. Or complete that art project that no matter what happened it would suck and not be perfect.
Through humor and facts, Keating leads the reader and the characters on a super cute story about growing up when you want nothing to change and everything to just be.