About the Author
Zack D. Shutt started blogging at age twelve, and had his first self-published work banned from junior high when he was only fourteen. His personal blog is the inspiration behind this novel. He is a professional web designer and programmer.Todd “Nuke ‘Em” Noker is the author of Rated F, and Path of Totality. He is a popular radio personality.
- Paperback: 236 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday (January 20, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1440172986
- ISBN-13: 978-1440172984
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
***spoiler alert*** Only read the last paragraph if you don’t want all the details.
Carlos “Carl” DeReese starts a blog to confide all of his troubles to around the age of twelve. The blog follows through, in diary form, his daily existence and several life changes. First his family moves to a new house and he has to start a new school away from his friends. Carl is sort of a computer nerd and has trouble making new friends at his new school until he connects with Dex who has a sticker of his favorite band on his locker. He also meets a girl he likes. Things start to improve for Carl and then everything unravels. Carl is adopted and his parents are finally having a biological child, but there is a birth defect and the baby will die soon after it is born. Anyone who thinks that stuff like this doesn’t affect teenage boys is dead wrong.
Carl, hormones raging, mind reeling and entering the depths of despair, tries to get away from a teacher who is berating him and the action is taken as a threat when he knocks over a stack of chairs and it breaks a window. He is arrested and in true zero tolerance fashion of today, no one bothers to find out if there are mitigating circumstances or that the action was an accident. His parents do back him and hire a lawyer after he is sent to an alternative school that is more dangerous than anything this poor kid has ever been exposed to and his life is threatened. It is amazing that Carl survives and survives he does. With the help of the principal at his new school, he grows and learns to reclaim his life.
I really have to say I it took me about 50 pages to really get into the story, but then I was caught up in the whole drama these authors created. Everything about the story rang true: from the idiot school administrators, ineffective teachers, peer pressure to the musical background that is so important to teenagers. It really reminded me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower for it’s intimate look at kids growing up and the challenges they face. I was really glad to see the parents back their son and be involved with Carl even though they had their own drama playing out. Just like in real life, it took a bit for the parents to catch on that their son was suffering, but they more than made up for it. This is one emotional read and it should really connect with adolescent boys.
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