Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie the Second

by Drew Ferguson

I guess my library doesn't have this book anymore, so I'm glad I read it when I did. I certainly have some complaints about it, but overall I quite liked it. Being about teenagers, this book would have been a young adult book if not for the graphic sex scenes. I mean, teen fiction often has sex, but not with this level of detail in the descriptions. Older teens could definitely handle this aspect of the book, and younger ones probably could too, even if their parents don't want to admit it.

The main character is pretty likeable, if dopey and naive at times. (Maybe he's just hopeful and uncynical, unlike grown-up me.) He struggles with being gay in high school, his parents' separation, general high school angst. The ending is crushingly sad and traumatic. The most important secondary character reacts to his own difficulties in a way that didn't make sense to me, though his response might seem to someone else to be the natural one, and maybe it could have been adequately explained if the book had been about him.

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