Hello! This blog post will be in english for certain reasons and I hope that’s alright 🙂 Anyway, life is cool because I have things to do and I read a lot and there’s December quite soonish (hello christmas calendars and christmas music) and I’m happy. Plus life contains Nintendo, tea, clementines and Spotify and that’s cool too.
Anyway, there’s probably lots of thing I could blog about, but I don’t really have time to make a long blog post and I have this book I’m going to review in a quite long book review anyway so I’ll go straight to that. But my plan is to blog again on saturday and until then I wish you all great days and that the review is interesting. Here we go!
Reality Boy by A.S. King
Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he?s still haunted by his rage-filled youth?which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle?and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.
Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he?s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone?s just waiting for him to snap?and he?s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.
In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child ?star? who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.
Above is the Goodreads-synopsis of this quite awesome and fascinating book which I?ve just finished reading. A book I partly bought from Amazon post-Nanowrimo because it sounded really interesting, but mostly bought because A.S. King is one of those authors I plan to read most anything by because she?s brilliant. And this book is another stroke of genius.
The premise in itself is quite original and, as mentioned earlier, fascinating because we?ve all seen some reality-TV. And we have shows we like, shows we dislike and things we watch as guilty pleasures. One of all the hundreds of concepts for reality-TV is the Nanny-version where a nanny helps troubled families, a type of show where I?ve seen a few episodes, but which hasn?t intrigued me that much. What I?ve never thought about is the kids in these families who haven?t asked for it and yet has been broadcast on television for thousands of people and Gerald Faust is one of those. He was the out-of-control five year old who dealt with his anger by crapping on tables and in loafers and therefore has been called the crapper for twelve years and is angrier than ever. Now he?s seventeen and sick of his life and among other things his horrible sister of doom (Tasha) and will he break free or snap, therein lays the question.
The thing about A.S. King is that she has this voice that is honest, truthful and completely her own and it shines through in everything she writes. And she creates characters that are really interesting and Gerald is no exception. Gerald is an angry and misunderstood character who is quite messed up in many ways, but who you feel for all the way. You want Gerald to succeed and to show him that there are people that are willing to look beyond a bad reputation and see him for the smart and engaging person he really is. I also like the other characters like Hannah and Deirdre and Joe from the Circus. On the other hand I intensely disliked Gerald?s messed up family. Because, omg, if you looked up the word dysfunctional in a dictionary it should totally be a picture there of Gerald?s mother (who lives in a world of denial) and Gerald?s oldest sister Tasha who isn?t just dysfunctional, but probably psychotic to (she tries to kill both Gerald and his other sister, Lisi, many times, she?s that messed up). And it?s kind of a compliment to the book how much I disliked members of Gerald?s family; it shows that they become real on the pages (or at least real enough to feel like entering the pages and send Tasha to a lot of therapy and crap in her loafers or something).
Anyway, the characters are engaging and the story is interesting, but the book also has other virtues. Like being almost impossible to put down when you start reading. It?s an extremely addicting book and I kind of wanted to read it all the time and read on the subway, read while eating lunch, read while walking from the subject to work and so on. It is books like this one that reminds me why I love reading so much, because I always love reading, but some books are just books. Other are experiences that makes you think and engages you and make you feel like reading all the time and not really do much else that is not reading. And I really like how there?s parts from when Nanny Network (the Nanny-show that propelled Gerald to unwanted fame) was filmed that shows what really happened during filming; scenes that were very intriguing and totally showed what a messed up home Gerald was a part of. I also like that there is a love story inside this story, but it?s realistic and cute and comes in just big enough doses.
As one can probably gather from this review, I?m a big fan of this book. And ok, it?s not perfect, I for example find that Tasha was a little too horrible and would have found it more realistic if she?d had some good sides too. At the same time the book is from Gerald?s point of view the whole time and then it?s not so strange if it?s a little based. I also find the ending a little sudden. Other than that this book is not the type of book that you feel like quoting a lot or the type of book that you read just for pure entertainment, but that?s totally okay. And what flaws there is here are small ones.
Mostly this is a book that?s unflinching and brutal, but also completely real, fascinating and exceptionally addictive and it is a book that I kind of want everyone else to read. Because it totally deserves it and A.S. King is still the king (quite literally because of her last name too) and I give it a five on a scale from one to six where six is the best and it?s a strong five, leaning towards six in a majestic manner.