Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book Review: King of the Screwups [2009]

Liam always seems to be screwing things up, but when his businessman father catches him making out with a girl on the desk in his office, he finally gets kicked out of the house. Instead of going to his uptight grandparents in Nevada, however, Liam's mother (who used to be a famous runway model, and has passed all her knowledge and beauty to her son) arranges for him to stay with his cross-dressing, glam-rocker uncle Pete, who lives in a trailer in upstate New York. Liam decides that in order to win his father's approval, he needs to be something other than the "popular kid" he's always been in the past. Despite his keen fashion sense and designer clothes, he tries dressing in Pete's t-shirts, reads the morning announcements, and generally acts as "uncool" as he can manage. Fortunately for him, his plan backfires in a variety of spectacular ways, and he learns that it might just be better to be himself than try to please his father (who is, frankly, an abusive jerk).

What I liked about this book the most was Liam's character. When he is being himself, he loves clothes, loves modeling, and cares about other people. It's also nice that Uncle Pete's gayness (and the sexuality of his bandmates), rather than being a major focus, is downplayed. I felt the book cried out for a sequel--will Liam get together with Darleen? Will Liam's mother ever leave his father? What is Liam going to do with his life? I hope he will become a world-famous model!

Grade: B

The author's website.

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