Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson

charlieThe Screwed Up Life of Charlie The Second by Drew Ferguson 2008 263 Pages 5/5 What a brilliant book. The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second is one of the best coming of age stories I've read. Really. At the beginning of this book, I kind of thought that Charlie was just this sarcastic mouthed pessimist and he kind of annoyed me. But the more and more I read, the more I liked Charlie. And I realized that this book had a lot more depth than what it first showed. But what's it all about, you ask? Well, it's about the screwed up life of Charlie the Second to put it simply. Charlie is seventeen and like every seventeen year-old male, he's confused and horny as hell. Charlie's just been outed by his parents and it's now known by everyone that he's gay. His best friend Bink is a little freaked by it at first but comes to terms with it quickly and is supportive. He has the added stress of writing his college essay, thrown onto him by his sometimes overbearing father, and speaking of the parents, they're getting separated. But there's one thing that's keeping him happy right now and that's Rob, the new guy on the soccer team that quickly becomes Charlie's newest crush. I never thought that I'd identify so much with a gay character, but Charlie goes through what every adolescent boy goes through, gay or straight. He's confused, horny, and challenging his views of the world. He doesn't censor his thoughts either. The book is told through a series of journal entries that Charlie writes. When talking about his sexual fantasies and habits, he's blunt about it. It was actually refreshing to see this in a novel. Sexuality is usually either toned down and ignored in YA novels, or it's there just for shock value. But it serves neither purpose here. It serves only to show an honest view of Charlie and his emotions. The book was surprisingly touching at times. I didn't see that coming from the beginning of the book and in those moments when it took on a more serious note, I was taken aback. I actually found myself getting a little choked up. Ferguson tells a story that's addictive and always engaging. I found myself unable to put this book down and I was so upset when the book was over. I was even more upset to find that this is his first book and nothing else has been published yet! But I'm sure there will be much more to come from Ferguson, and when it does, I'll be first in line to pick it up. Oh, and'll love this one ;) Other Views and Opinions: Becky's Book Reviews Bookshelves of Doom Shooting Stars Mag

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