On the surface, geeky schoolboy Alex Woods doesn’t have a lot going for him.

With a clairvoyant for a mum and a natural talent for saying and doing the wrong thing, he finds himself branded weird and bullied by his classmates.

A rather unpromising first meeting with elderly curmudgeon Mr Peterson marks the start of an unlikely friendship which is to have major repercussions for them both.

Laugh-out-loud funny in places, Gavin Extence’s debut novel perfectly captures the awkwardness and agonies of growing up.

A touching account of Alex’s attempts to make sense of a nonsensical world and stand up for his beliefs, it raises some difficult questions.

Death, faith and morality are some of the gigantic concepts tackled here but with a lightness of touch and humour that never sounds like preaching.