Monday, November 10, 2008
The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie the Second
Ferguson, Drew. 2008. The Screwed Up Life Of Charlie the Second.
Okay, so maybe getting my scrawny ass pushed into the back of a Crystal Lake cop car wasn't the smartest thing I've done, but Dana's party last night--it sucked. She should thank me. The only thing anyone'll remember about the party is me getting busted.
What can I say about this one? I think you'll either love it or hate it. If you're looking for a book about the awkwardness and glory of a guy having his first boyfriend--plenty of firsts elaborately and graphically described--then this one may be for you. Not that you have to be looking for that to enjoy it. Drew Ferguson does a great job with characterization in general. From our main narrator, Charlie, to his boyfriend, Rob, to his best friend, Bink, to the families of Rob and Bink. Good characters. Good plotting. This is a nerdy coming-of-age story that no doubt is authentic--the awkwardness of being that age in general, the uncertainty of what to expect out of a more intimate relationship, the bittersweetness of life itself at any age--the loves lost and gained.
The writing is full of humor. But it isn't without heart. Charlie falls--and hard--for Rob. And the joys of learning that that love is returned brings happiness and joy. But it also adds complications. Rob is going through a rough time. His mom is dying (and does in fact die through the course of the novel). And Rob and his father are going through the stages of grief--shock, denial, anger, etc. Charlie is young and inexperienced (in more ways than one). He doesn't know how to deal with Rob's heartaches. Rob is on an emotional roller coaster, and Charlie doesn't know how to deal with the situation. I think few people his age would.
Friendship. Love. Heartache. Life lessons learned the hard way. Not for everyone certainly--no one book is for everyone.
A much better review is at Bookshelves of Doom.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews