Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Mind of a Teenager

Narrative Loserdom: From Journal One by Ryan

Summary: Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something, if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. 

Review: A very direct look at the mind of a teenager through a journal with less than perfect spelling and grammar.

I must admit to believing that Justin was younger than he actually was. I expected him to be in middle school, not high school. I know that boys’ brains develop slower than female brains, but it was certainly surprising to see one in action. The journal is an interesting way to tell a story and I liked that it came from an assignment in school that Justin was assigned. It provides a good reason for a teenage boy to write a journal.

The spelling and grammar mistakes do take a bit getting used to, even though they are supposed to be there. The book focuses heavily on Justin’s and Adam’s adventures in high school and their lawn mowing business. It’s a very narrow focus so you only get to know Justin and Adam very well. I honestly wasn’t the biggest fan of Justin until near the end of the book. It appeared that he was growing as a person and as a character. It appears there will be another book in the future and I would be interested to see where Justin is in a few years.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy novels told in journal format or fiction told from a teenage boy’s viewpoint. 

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